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Pearl River surprises Wolves

WESSON – With only seven players available Tuesday night, thePearl River Community College men made the best of a difficultsituation. The Wildcats rode an emotional high to a shocking 70-67win over the Co-Lin Wolves in Mullen Gymnasium.

Directing the triumph was freshman guard Yandell Brown with 25points. Pearl River head coach Richard Mathis had dismissed six ofhis players after the Christmas break and suspended another. Herecruited a football player and a student from the school’srecreation league to give his team two reserves.

“I’ve brought some talented teams in here and got beat,” saidMathis, leaning against the wall outside the visitors’ dressingroom. “I thought we were short-handed but our kids played with alot of heart.

“Kids will play hard on emotion,” Mathis pointed out. “We playedsome good defense, too.”

Pearl River (6-6, 1-3) , took a 65-62 lead on a wide-open treyby freshman guard Ty Linden with 3:45 left to play. Co-Lin (6-8,2-2), riding a 2-game South Division win streak, neverrecovered.

The Wildcats made 5 of 6 free throw attempts in the last minuteand began a happy celebration. Co-Lin missed 2 free throws andcommitted a turnover in the last 42 seconds to blow any comebackopportunity. Co-Lin committed 20 turnovers in the loss.

Co-Lin coach Dennis Sims said he was disappointed by the defeatand the performance of his team. “This is one of our worst losses.Our team’s attitude is not conducive to being successful.

“We had a 2-game winning streak playing as a team last week,”Sims continued. “At Hinds (last Thursday) we played as welldefensively as we have all year.

“Pearl River played with emotion. That’s why you play the game.Co-Lin didn’t play with emotion.”

The Wolves got 12 points and 5 rebounds from sophomore post B.J.Black. Freshman guards Jason Scott and Jerimie Collier each scored11 points.

Sophomore center Quentin Christian led Co-Lin on the backboardswith 7 rebounds. Bruce Smith made 7 assists and scored 9 points,sinking a trey as time expired.

Brown, a 5-11 freshman guard from Eastman, Ga., got support from6-5 freshman forward Justin Miller who scored 17 points. Miller isfrom Hattiesburg (North Forrest).

Mathis received a technical foul at the end of the first halffor disputing a call by the officials. Two technical free throws bySmith to start the second half, followed by Chad Smith’s fieldgoal, gave Co-Lin a 10-point, 43-33 lead with 18:50 left in thegame.

A dunk by 6-6 freshman Albert Sullivan gave the Wildcats theirfirst lead at 46-45 and 13:14 left to play.