Co-Lin’s Wolfpack upsets Itawamba in state tournament

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ELLISVILLE- Guards Trent Hutchin and Rob Wallace combined for 49points to lead the No. 4-seeded Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeWolves to a 78-73 upset win over the North No. 1 seed ItawambaCommunity College Indians Tuesday in the first round of theMississippi Association of Community and Junior College (MACJC)State Basketball Tournament.

The four-day tournament is being held in Bobcat Gymnasium atJones County Junior College.

Co-Lin (14-12) will meet the East Mississippi Lions (16-9) at 2p.m. today in the semifinals. East Mississippi, the No. 3 seed inthe North, defeated the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs, the No. 2seed in the South, 91-85.

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Jones County, a 104-91 winner over Coahoma Tuesday night, playsPearl River at 7 p.m. in the other men’s semifinals game.

“We scored 46 points and we shot over 50 percent for the game,”said Co-Lin men’s coach Dennis Sims. “We have to shoot the ballwell.”

Sims said his team has lost twice to East Mississsippi, the lasttime by 16 points at Scooba. “They are physical on defense and pickyou up full-court. They try to beat you up physically. They are anathletic team.”

The Co-Lin women (23-2) face Itawamba (21-5) at noon today inthe semifinals. Jones (20-6) meets East Miss. (21-4) at 5 p.m. inthe other semifinals women’s game. Championship finals are Thursdayat 6 and 8 p.m.

Hutchin, a 6-foot sophomore from Baton Rouge, scored 20 of hisgame-high 26 points in the first half to spark the Wolves. His3-pointer less than five minutes into the game gave Co-Lin the leadfor good at 9-6. They extended the lead to as much as 30-19 with8:36 left in the half when Lewanski Newsome hit a free throw linejumper.

Itawamba (18-8) trimmed the lead to 31-29 with 4:29 left in thehalf when Gary Dixon hit a pair of free throws. But Co-Linoutscored the Indians 15-8 to take a 46-38 at halftime.

The Wolves (14-12) led by 10 points at 65-55 with 7:00 left whenTorrian Sanders drained a 3-pointer. But the Indians went on a 12-3run and pulled within 68-67 with 2:34 left when Greg Pulliam hit a12-footer.

With the shot clock winding down, Hutchin was fouled on a3-point attempt. He connected on all three free throws, giving theWolves 71-67 LEAD with 2:03 remaining. The Indians pulled within76-73 with 17 seconds to play when Josh McCollum scored on aputback. Co-Lin’s Rob Wallace answered , draining two free throwswith 10.1 seconds left to seal the game for the Wolves.

Hutchin was 8-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from3-point range. He was also 5-of-5 from the free throw line toaccount for his 26 points. Wallace finished with 23 points, 7rebounds and 5 assists, while Dwayne Brown added 11 and Sanders had10.

Leading ICC was Texas Tech signee Theron Jenkins with 14 points.Dixon and Pulliam had 11 each. Vincenzo Nelson and McCollum had 10each. Nelson added nine rebounds, while Jason Marks, a SoutheasternLouisiana signee had eight points and seven rebounds. ICCoutrebounded Co-Lin 35-20.