Hanceville, Ala. – Northeast Mississippi Community College's women's basketball team continued its strong play to open the 2013-14 season on Thursday night.
The Lady Tigers stayed with No. 16 Wallace State Community College at Hanceville all game, but the Lady Lions put together a late rally and fended off the upset bid 76-69 at Tom Drake Coliseum.
After swapping the lead seven times in the contest's opening 13 minutes, Northeast went ahead 26-25 on a Daisha Williams field goal.
Three-point makes by Antionette Riddle and Williams helped the Lady Tigers maintain the advantage for the remainder of the half. Riddle's trey put Northeast (0-2) up 34-25 with 4:09 to play in the first.
Aushiana Ivy connected on two of the final three baskets in the period for Northeast, which took a 41-35 edge to the locker room. Ivy, a freshman from Tupelo, just missed a double-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
Wallace-State Hanceville (2-1) used a 9-0 run over a period of three minutes to tie the matchup at 40-40 on a Jasmine Coleman two-pointer.
An Ashley Rodgers layup gave the Lady Lions the lead for good with 9:06 remaining in the contest. Northeast got as close as 63-61 on an Angelia Allen shot, but could not push back in front.
Allen and Riddle both recorded their first double-digit outings of their sophomore years. Riddle, a Tupelo High School graduate, tallied 18 points while Belmont's Allen totaled 12.
Daisha Williams finished 3 of 6 from long range and had 13 points off the bench.
Coleman led all players with 21 points on 10 of 11 shooting. The Lady Lions shot 73.3-percent from the floor.
(M) Wallace State-Hanceville 90, Northeast 52
The Tigers could not keep the momentum flowing from their last-second victory over Gadsden State Community College last Monday and suffered from a poor shooting afternoon.
Marcus Hogan was the only Northeast (1-2) player in double figures with 14 points. He hit 80-percent of his attempts from behind the arc while the rest of the Tigers were a combined 3 for 14.
Keldrick Lesley hit a trey with 9:25 remaining in the opening half to cut the Tigers' deficit to 16-13, but it was all Wallace State-Hanceville from that point.
X-keem Jones connected on two threes to spark a 13-0 run by the Lions (2-1) that Northeast could never recover from. Wallace State-Hanceville also pulled off another spurt of 11 straight points before the horn sounded to lead 43-20 at the break.
Jones was one of four athletes to reach double digits for the Lions with 11 points. Lee Moore knocked down a game-high 17 points.
Al Azulphar continued his strong play in the post with eight points, seven boards and two blocks.
Both squads open the doors to Bonner Arnold Coliseum for the initial time this campaign on Monday night by hosting Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College. Brian Alexander's Lady Tigers tipoff at 5:30 p.m., while Cord Wright coaches his first home contest immediately following.