NEMCC seals win against Jackson State with furious first-half finish

NEMCC seals win against Jackson State with furious first-half finish

Northeast Mississippi Community College women's basketball team capped its fall 2012 home campaign with a win over Jackson State (Tenn.) Community College Tuesday, December 11. 

In a back-and-forth battle, second-year women's head coach Brian Alexander saw his Lady Tigers improve to 5-4 on the year with the 66-57 win over the Lady Generals.

Alexander's troops were able to gain the upperhand thanks to a 23-6 run to end the first half that saw the Lady Tigers battle back from a 17-10 deficit to take a 33-23 lead into intermission.

Jackson State (1-9) jumped out to its seven-point lead as Northeast suffered through a cold-spell midway through the first half.

From the 14:16-mark to a LaTonya Gadison bucket with 7:39 left in the opening period, Northeast was 0-6 from the floor and committed five turnovers.

However, it was Gadison that started the 23-6 run with a pair of free throws at the 8:15 mark to keep the pressure on the Lady Generals.

Alexander's team made improvements at the charity stripe from its two previous contests after going 11-24 against Itawamba and hitting just 13-of-39 against Northwest in an 88-82 overtime victory, the Lady Tigers were 21-for-37 on the night that included an 11-of-12 performance in the first half.

Talisa Boyd and Gadison turned the tables on Jackson State after the pair was able to find the range from the floor.

In a mater of 1:06, Northeast erased the 17-10 deficit and turned it into a 19-17 lead after Boyd converted on an old-fashioned, three-point play with 7:09 left.

With the momentum shift, Northeast was on a roll while Jackson State went cold from the floor and suffered the same fate as the Lady Tigers did earlier in the game.

Jackson State turned the ball over on five straight possessions as the Northeast defense turned up the pressure on the Lady Generals.

However, an almost silent four-minute span set the stage for a furious first-half finish.

Jackson State was able to recapture the lead when a Kristina Elliot jumper with 5:43 showing knotted the game at 19 a piece and Kylan Crane's free throw with 4:14 left gave the Lady Generals a 20-19 advantage.

Elliot's freebie just a minute later put the visitors up 21-19 but Northeast would answer with a flurry of points.

Shrita Dixon got the run going again with her deuce at the 3:12-mark and Antionette Riddle lit up the scoreboard in the final three minutes.

Riddle sparked a 12-2 half-ending run by accounting for eight of the 12 points by the Lady Tigers.

A Riddle three-pointer with 2:55 left to play in the half gave the Lady Tigers a 24-21 lead – a lead the host would never relinquish – and persistently pushed the tempo with a pair of free throws later in the half.

Riddle continued to set the pace with another three-pointer with 48 seconds left to go in the opening period that gave the host a 32-21 advantage.  Northeast took a 33-23 lead into the break after a Jermerica Moore freebie with 14 seconds left to go.

Northeast would add to its lead coming out of the half as the Lady Tigers tallied a Boyd make and a pair of Dixon freebies for the 37-23 lead with 17:44 left to play in the game.

Jackson State would close to within nine late in the game but couldn't close the gap that the Lady Tigers had opened in the first half.

Boyd led all scorers with 20 points on the night thanks to a 7-for-10 showing from the floor. Boyd's 20 points also paced four Lady Tigers in double digits.

Riddle and Gadison both had a baker's dozen (13) while Dixon finished the night with an even 12 for the Lady Tigers.

Alexander's Lady Tigers will have a chance to finish the 2012 fall portion of their schedule on a three-game win streak when Northeast travels to Gadsden State (Ala.) Community College on Thursday, December 13.  

Earlier in the year, Northeast dropped a three-point heartbreaker to the Lady Cardinals 81-78 and had a chance to tie the game late. Northeast's three-point game against the Lady Cardinals is the closest game that Gadsden State has played this year while racking up a 7-1 record and being ranked twenty-fourth best in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in its Dec. 5 Division I women's basketball poll.


Northeast Mississippi Community College freshman forward Shrita Dixon (21) collides with Jackson State Community College sophomore forward Tori Smith (35) while going for a loose ball during first half action of the Lady Tigers and Lady Generals basketball game on Tuesday, December 11. Dixon and the Lady Tigers were able to walk away with a 66-57 win over the Lady Generals.