BOONEVILLE, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College women's basketball program started a new year on a positive note for the first time in five years.
The Lady Tigers broke a streak of four consecutive season-opening losses with a 75-63 victory over Volunteer State (Tenn.) Community College on Thursday, November 7 inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
Northeast's most recent triumph in a lid-lifter was a thrilling 102-98 double overtime decision over visiting Southwest Mississippi Community College on November 3, 2014.
"I think we found out a lot about ourselves in this game," said Lady Tigers head coach Brenda Mayes. "Some of our shooters that we knew could knock down a shot really just let it go. I was really excited to see them play with confidence."
Chancey Jackson accounted for the first points of the campaign for Northeast just over 15 seconds into the contest. It started a 7-0 run that allowed the Lady Tigers to never trail the Lady Pioneers.
Northeast (1-0) quickly built a double-digit advantage following back-to-back baskets from Quitonya Webster. The Lady Tigers went on to hold an 18-8 lead after the opening period.
The Lady Tigers expanded their grasp on the game by outscoring Volunteer State 28-13 in the second quarter. Da'Sha McGloster drained four treys in the period to help Northeast take a 46-21 advantage into the locker room.
Tekeria Newson gave the Lady Tigers their largest lead of the entire matchup at 51-24 less than two minutes out of the halftime hiatus with an offensive rebound plus put back.
However, Volunteer State (0-3) chipped away at its deficit from that point and eventually got back to within single digits at 65-56 with 4:30 remaining in the contest.
"That third quarter we struggled and we just had to hold on," Mayes said. "Everybody was trying to score and the balls weren't falling. If we fix a few little kinks then I feel we'll be pretty good."
McGloster had a sensational night for the Lady Tigers. The Vicksburg native doubled her previous career-high with 24 points and also recorded five assists, five rebounds, four blocks and two steals.
"I just took the open shots and knocked them down," said McGloster. "I knew we needed to have a scoring mentality. Building a lead just brought our confidence up."
Haley Vick also set a new career-high with 12 points. She was part of a group of guards that made 10 three-pointers, which was the most in a single game for Northeast since it matched that number in a win over Arkansas Baptist College on November 27, 2018.
"I think we're all pretty excited, especially with it being our first home game," Vick said. "I just got in the gym this summer and worked. I shot whenever I had open shots and if not I gave it off to somebody else that was open."
Caldwell approached a triple-double for the Lady Tigers with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven steals. Webster and Jackson barely missed double figures with eight and seven points, respectively.
Northeast finished with a plus-10 edge in rebounding and accumulated 26 points in the paint. The Lady Tigers held the Lady Pioneers to a 33.3 field goal percentage and a 20 percent mark from behind the arc.
The Lady Tigers continue their three-game homestand on Thursday, November 14 by hosting Wallace State (Ala.) Community College at Hanceville. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. on the Booneville campus with the men to follow.