Booneville, Miss. – The Northeast Mississippi Community College women's basketball squad showcased its depth on Tuesday and in the process completed its most dominant performance in nearly half a decade.
Every player on the active roster scored and had at least one rebound for the Lady Tigers during an impressive 109-75 decision over Mid-South (Ark.) Community College inside historic Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
"I'm really happy with the bench. They did what they were supposed to do," said Northeast head coach Brian Alexander. "We handled our business and I was very pleased with the adjustments we made."
The Lady Tigers' eight reserves each saw over 11 minutes of action and as a unit accounted for a phenomenal 72 bench points. Three non-starters reached double-digits, including Harper Newell's career-high 17 points.
"My mindset is to work hard and have my team's back," Newell said. "It felt exciting. I have to play my role and keep encouraging others."
It was the Lady Greyhounds (1-4) that actually took an early 4-0 lead after Ivory Thornton's bucket and a pair of free throws by Sherrelle McGowan.
Northeast, though, scored 12 unanswered points over the next five minutes and did not trail throughout the remainder of the matchup. Daisha Williams and Newell made two field goals apiece during the early spurt.
Mid-South kept pace with the Lady Tigers at the midway point of the first period and only trailed 19-16 following a McGowan basket and a free shot by Ti'Abre Watts.
But Northeast pulled away from its guest by compiling another lengthy run of 19-2. Alivia Hughes started the stretch with a trey while Ayana Ragin and Williams each had six points to help the Lady Tigers expand their advantage to 38-18.
The Lady Tigers scarcely misfired after returning to the floor from the locker room. Northeast sank 23 of its 35 field goal tries following the break and finished the game with a solid 53.8 shooting percentage.
The Lady Greyhounds cut their deficit to as close as 70-57 after Amber Benson's jumper with 13:45 left in the contest. However, LaKeiya Lane drained an attempt from beyond the arc moments later that increased the Lady Tigers' lead back above 20 points and put the matchup out of reach for Mid-South.
V'lenchia Farmer launched Northeast past the century mark on a layup plus make at the charity stripe following a foul against the Lady Greyhounds. Baylee Turner added a three-pointer while Lane wrapped up the evening for the Lady Tigers by scoring their final five points.
Lane and Ragin both came off the sidelines to notch 12 points apiece for Northeast. That tied a career-high for Baldwyn's Ragin that was set last February during her freshman year versus East Mississippi Community College.
"I had to step up for myself and my teammates," said Ragin. "I'm really excited. I gave it my all every minute and every second."
Williams had another stellar evening to guide the Lady Tigers. She recorded her third double-figure performance in as many outings by going 5 of 8 from the floor for 15 points.
McGowan topped Mid-South with a game-best 22 points while Lacordia Williams tallied 20 as well. No other athlete had more than seven points for the Lady Greyhounds.
Northeast held a plus-16 edge in rebounding and had 20 total offensive boards. Farmer paced the effort with eight rebounds while Ragin and Aushiana Ivy had seven and six, respectively.
The Lady Tigers also forced an incredible 41 turnovers in their win over Mid-South. Northeast has now pressured its opponents into 35-plus miscues in each contest this season.
A majority of the Lady Greyhounds' errors were the result of 24 steals by the Lady Tigers. Newell grabbed seven errant passes and Dashiyah Agnew snatched five.
The 34-point margin of victory is the largest for Northeast since defeating Holmes Community College 72-32 on December 3, 2009. It is the most points scored in a single game by the Lady Tigers since January 29, 2004 when they matched this final count in a triumph over Coahoma Community College.
The win versus Mid-South is the second time this season for Northeast to score more than 100 points. The Lady Tigers last accomplished this feat against Northwest-Shoals (Ala.) Community College and Coahoma during the 2005-06 campaign while on their path to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament.
It is also the best overall start by Northeast since the 2007-08 season. The Lady Tigers bested Bevill State (Ala.) Community College at Fayette, Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College and Northwest-Shoals that year to compile an identical 3-0 mark as well.
Northeast faces its initial road test of the current campaign on Thursday, November 13 at Baton Rouge (La.) Community College. Tipoff between the Lady Tigers and the defending NJCAA Region 23 champions is slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Bonne Sante Wellness Center.