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Lady Wolves avoid upset

WESSON – The Pearl River Lady Wildcats may be the toughest teamthe No. 4 nationally-ranked Co-Lin Lady Wolves have played allseason. Monday night in Mullen Gymnasium, Co-Lin rallied back inthe final 40 seconds on a three-point play from sophomore guardTiania Burns and two free throws from sophomore Ayme Beeson for atough 69-68 South Division win over the Lady Wildcats.

The game was deadlocked at 64-all when Burns scored on a layupand was fouled. She made her free throw for a 67-64 lead for theLady Wolves. Beeson went 1-for-2 for a 68-64 lead with 18 secondsleft to play. Sophomore post player Jamei Newsom of Pearl Rivernailed two points, cutting the Lady Wolves’ lead to 68-66. Beesonwas fouled with 9.3 seconds showing and was 1-for-2 again from thecharity line, giving Co-Lin a three-point, 69-66 lead. Newsomscored a field goal to cut it to 69-68 with no time left.

“It’s our court,” said Beeson. “We did our best and got it done.This was a really good game. We (team) communicated real well.”

The division win improved the Lady Wolves record to 11-0 in theSouth and 21-0 overall. Co-Lin had defeated Pearl River on Jan. 16at Poplarville by a score of 77-71.

“We struggled,” said Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young after thewin. “We made the plays when we had to. Nothing extra, just enoughto win.”

Burns was the top scorer for Co-Lin with 22 points, going8-of-10 from the free-throw line. She also collected sevenrebounds, made four steals and had four assists. Beeson finishedwith 11 points, scoring nine in the second half, and making eightassists.

Young felt the communication between Burns and Beeson was a key.Beeson and Burns read Pearl River’s in-bounds play. Burns got thesteal for the layup and free throw with 40 seconds left to putCo-Lin ahead 67-64.

Adding support to the Co-Lin win with 20 points, seven reboundsand six steals was sophomore forward Shaquita Smith. Nikki Blakelygrabbed five rebounds and made three steals.

Powering Coach Ed Walley’s Pearl River women (16-6, 6-5) with 26points was standout sophomore guard Audosh Kelley of Savannah, Ga.Kelley led her team with 26 points,going a perfect 14-for-14 fromthe free-throw line. She also grabbed seven rebounds and had threeassists.

Newsom, a 5-10 sophomore from Petal, finished the game with 12points and 13 rebounds.

Co-Lin trailed Pearl River by five points, 37-32 at the half.The Lady Wolves tied the game twice at the 13:35 mark at 41-all ona Burns layup and 62-all on another field goal by Burns with 1:48remaining in the game. Beeson went 2-for-2 at the 1:26 mark to givethe Lady Wolves a 64-62 lead that they would not relinquish.