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Lady Wolves hold off EMCC

SCOOBA – In their closest game of the year, the Copiah-LincolnCommunity College Lady Wolves survived the upset-minded EastMississippi Lady Lions 73-65 Tuesday night in the first round ofthe MACJC State Basketball Tournament. The Lady Lions, playing ontheir home floor, were the No. 4 seed out of the NorthDivision.

Co-Lin (24-0), seeded No. 1 out of the South Division and rankedNo. 4 in the NJCAA National Poll, will face the Itawamba LadyIndians (18-8) today at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals. ICC was a69-55 winner over Southwest yesterday

North No. 1 seed Northwest will face South No. 2 Jones County atnoon in the other women’s semifinals game. In the men’s semifinals,South No. 1 Pearl River plays Itawamba at 2 p.m. and North No. 1East Miss. plays Jones County at 7:30. Championship finals areThursday at 5:30 and 7:30.

“I thought East Mississippi played really hard tonight,” saidCo-Lin head coach Gwyn Young. “We didn’t do a very good jobguarding (Martika) Hull. We missed some easy shots and got in earlyfoul trouble, but our bench came in and helped us out.”

The Wolves took a 13-5 lead at the 13:36 mark on a Latoria Holderjumper. But with 10:14 left in the half, Co-Lin’s Brandi Simmonspicked up her second personal foul and had to go to the bench. EastMississippi went on a 12-2 run and took their first lead of thegame, 17-15 at the 7:52 mark.

The Lions took advantage of Co-Lin’s foul trouble as they beganshooting the double-bonus with 4:59 left in the half. The leadseesawed back and forth for the remainder of the half as the Wolvestook a 32-31 lead into the locker room.

Co-Lin opened the second half with a 6-0 run and built its lead to38-31. The Lions rallied behind sophomore Hull’s back-to-backbaskets to tie the game at 46-all with 14:18 remaining.

EMCC took the lead 51-48 on a 3-pointer by Natalie Tate at the11:10 mark. Co-Lin guard Nadia Collins tied the game at 51 with a3-pointer of her own. That would spark a 15-5 Co-Lin run as theWolves took a 66-56 lead with 5:08 remaining.

Hull’s basket and free throw with 1:40 pulled the Lions to 68-63,but that’s as close as they would get.

Co-Lin shot a blistering 78 percent (14 for 18) from the field inthe second half, and 51 percent for the game. EMCC shot 40 percentfrom the field.

The Wolves were outrebounded 32-31 and the bench outscored EMCC15-8.

Sophomore Rachel Vigers led the Wolves with 19 points, 8 reboundsand 6 assists. Simmons added 17 points. Holder added 15 points and3 assists. Freshman Naketa Roberts came off the bench and notched 8points and 8 rebounds.

Hull, a 5-11 sophomore from Meridian (SE Lauderdale) led EMCC witha game-high 26 points and 16 rebounds. Raona Stowers and NatalieTate added 12 and 10 points apiece.