Booneville, Miss. – Dashiell Franklin helped the Northeast Mississippi Community College men's basketball program get back on the right track and into the win column once again.
The Tigers bounced back from a loss in their previous outing to defeat Martin Methodist College's junior varsity squad 88-67 on Wednesday, January 20 inside historic Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
Franklin was one of three double figure scorers for Northeast with 13 points. He was six of eight from the floor overall with a game-high four steals in a career-best 19 minutes of action.
"It felt real good because I've been waiting," said Franklin. "My time came and I was ready. That's always the mentality for each and every one of us. When your name is called, you've got to be ready."
The Tigers never trailed in the matchup, but it did take several minutes before they pulled away from their visitors. The score was tied at 8-8 with 16:32 showing on the clock following a Wes Harlan bucket for the RedHawks.
An offensive rebound and putback by Smith gave the Tigers their initial double-digit advantage with 5:38 remaining before the break. Back-to-back baskets from Wesley Harris and Tray Lawson lifted Northeast ahead by a 35-21 margin.
The Tigers elevated their lead to 49-30 at halftime with 10 consecutive points near the end of the period. Kendall Stafford opened that sequence with a trey and Franklin capped it with a three-pointer.
Martin Methodist (1-7) pieced together a quick 9-0 run that included a long distance make from Harlan and four points from Donnie Gavin to bring its deficit as close as 54-39 with 16:06 to go.
Northeast responded with 11 unanswered points to put the matchup out of reach for the RedHawks. Franklin contributed three field goals while Chase Carroll and Jack Nichols also scored in that span for the Tigers.
Harris put an exclamation mark on the game with just over five minutes to play. He grabbed a steal, raced down the court between two defenders and brought the home crowd to its feet with an emphatic one-handed slam dunk.
All but one Northeast athlete on the active roster appeared in the scoring column. Smith matched his career-high with 15 points for the Tigers on a pair of treys and five total baskets.
Stafford made it to double figures for the second time in his freshman campaign with 10 points on the dot. Leroy Buchanan, Raheem Sorrell and Lawson barely missed double-digits themselves with eight points apiece.
"We had some good guys off the bench that attacked and played well," Northeast head coach Cord Wright said. "That was what you're hoping for tonight, to develop a little bit more. I thought they brought some energy and did some positive things."
The Tigers compiled an impressive plus-26 margin on the boards, including a season-best 29 on the offensive glass. Buchanan paced that effort for Northeast with nine rebounds.
Martin Methodist was forced into 24 turnovers and the Tigers transitioned those miscues into 27 points. Northeast's reserves outscored the RedHawks' substitutes 43-15 as well.
(W) Northeast 101, Arkansas State Mid-South 92 (2OT)
In West Memphis, Ark., it took 10 extra minutes for the Lady Tigers to defeat the Lady Greyhounds on Tuesday, January 19 in the first ever meeting between the two squads at the Glen F. Fenter Complex.
Arkansas State Mid-South (5-12) took a 75-73 lead with only three seconds remaining on a basket by Ja'Brisha Hawkins. Northeast immediately called a timeout to advance the ball past the midcourt stripe.
The Lady Greyhounds once again gained the upper hand in the initial extra period at 85-83 following a Samantha Jackson free throw. Stewart once again saved the Lady Tigers and forced more free hoops with a pair of makes from the charity stripe with just two seconds showing on the clock.
Northeast finished the game on a 12-2 run over a span of one minute and 53 seconds to secure the dramatic victory. V'lenchia Farmer and Stewart each had a bucket while the Lady Tigers were 8 of 12 from the free throw line during that stretch.
Shelby Wilbanks was outstanding for Northeast (7-8). She recorded several new career-highs, including 33 points, 18 rebounds, 15 field goals, eight offensive boards and five blocks.
It was the seventh double-double for Wilbanks in what has been a phenomenal freshman year. She has also scored in double figures during all of the Lady Tigers' 15 outings so far this campaign.
Stewart was pivotal for Northeast as well with 26 points. Kasey Sparks notched her inaugural double-digit performance as a member of the Lady Tigers with 12 points to go with six rebounds.
Post players Bridgejae Patterson, Sparks and Wilbanks guided Northeast to a plus-17 edge on the boards. The Lady Tigers also garnered season-highs of 25 assists and 10 blocks as a team.
Northeast did most of its work in the paint with 64 points from short range. The Lady Tigers shot 47.6 percent from the floor and were 20 of 29 overall from the charity stripe.