SCOOBA – Sophomore guard Keith Harris scored 15 points during a four-minute, second-half stretch to ignite East Mississippi Community College's 65-58 comeback victory over East Central Community College during Thursday night MACJC basketball action at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The ECCC Lady Warriors claimed the women's contest with an 85-76 win in the opening game.
In the opener, East Central's women broke open a tightly contested game by outscoring EMCC, 22-14, in the second quarter to take a 43-32 halftime advantage. After the Lions cut the deficit to five points by scoring the first six points of the second stanza on a Jordanna Morris 3-pointer and a three-point play by Brianna Page, the Warriors used a 21-10 run during the remainder of the quarter to extend the margin to as many as 18 points (64-46) late in the period.
Improving to 3-0 on the season, the Lady Warriors maintained their double-digit cushion for most of the final quarter before settling for the nine-point triumph. Autumn Taylor and Tamirra Haskin led the way for the winners with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
A pair of transfers combined for 34 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the home-standing Lions. Morris, from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, paced all scorers with 18 points while adding 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals. Making her EMCC debut after transferring from Coahoma Community College, Columbus' Kayla Rogers finished the night with 16 points, nine boards and four blocks.
In the nightcap, the visiting Warriors held the advantage for the entire first half, leading by as many as nine points on a couple of occasions. Terryonte Thomas' 3-pointer to end the opening half cut EMCC's deficit to four points (35-31) heading into intermission.
East Central built the margin back up to eight points (47-39) on Cayman Ruffin's 3-pointer midway through the second stanza. With EMCC still trailing by seven points (54-47) four minutes later, Harris' scoring spree began with a three-point play on an offensive rebound at the 6:28 mark. The Starkville High School product then drilled three consecutive treys that put the Lions ahead by six points (60-54) and completely change the momentum of the game. After Antonio Clark's basket snapped a 13-0 EMCC run, Harris connected on his fourth straight 3-pointer to give the home team a 63-56 advantage with 2:46 remaining.
Harris finished the night with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, including a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc. Through three games, he has connected on 11-of-15 (73%) three-point shots for the year.
EMCC's Starkville connection also paid big dividends inside with former Yellowjacket Darrious Agnew recording his first collegiate double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals.
Falling to 1-2 on the year, the East Central men were led by Cameron Diggs and Jaquan Dotson with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
East Mississippi's basketball teams return to action with a Monday night home doubleheader on the Scooba campus. The EMCC women will play host to Snead State CC, out of Boaz, Ala., at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's contest between the Lions and the Jackson-based Royal Ambassadors Christian School.