SCOOBA – Following a challenging road stretch against three quality opponents in as many days, the East Mississippi Community College men's basketball team got back on the winning track with Thursday's commanding 102-68 home victory over Mid-South Prep Academy at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
Playing at home for the first time since Nov. 5, Coach Billy Begley's EMCC Lions were able to eclipse the century mark for the second time this season with all 11 dressed-out players entering the scoring column against the Memphis-based club. The comfortable victory in front of the home crowd was a welcomed change after playing three consecutive days last week along with making an eight-hour bus ride for a prestigious two-day tournament hosted by national powerhouse Vincennes University in Indiana. After dropping a tough 73-66 road decision to rival East Central a week ago Thursday, EMCC then hit the road early the following morning and fell to preseason 19th-ranked John A. Logan College (79-63) and No. 6 Vincennes (66-42) on Friday and Saturday, respectively, during the VU-hosted Sodexo Classic.
With their collective feet back under them upon their return trip to the Scooba campus, the Lions scored the game's first nine points against Mid-South Prep en route to taking a 42-29 halftime lead. The margin increased to 20 points (50-30) on a Terryonte Thomas 3-pointer a couple of minutes into the second half. The advantage then grew to 30 points (74-44) on a pair of free throws by Robert Davis Jr. with nine minutes remaining in the contest.
Perhaps the most notable moment of the one-sided contest was walk-on Isaiah Hardy's 3-pointer that put the Lions over the 100-point mark with a minute left.
Leading EMCC's quintet of double-figure scorers against Mid-South was sophomore Malik Harper with 21 points to go along with his team-high 12 rebounds. Thomas was next with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting followed by Donte Powers and Dawson Graham with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Davis added 10 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort.
The 3-3 EMCC Lions will take on their third preseason nationally ranked opponent in four games when they travel to Tuscaloosa to meet 21st-ranked Shelton State Community College in a 7:30 p.m. contest that follows women's action. Both games are slated to be live-streamed at www.EMCCAthletics.com/live with Austin Buchanan calling the play-by-play action.