Bears surpass Pearl River; Lady Wildcats edge Southwest

Published 11:30 am Friday, January 17, 2014

SUMMIT – Southwest fans got their money’s worth and more Thursday as the Lady Bears tried to extend their winning streak to 12 games against visiting Pearl River. But, like all good things must do, the streak came to an end in a thrilling 73-72-overtime loss to the Lady Wildcats.

With the loss, the Lady Bears fell to 11-2 overall and 3-1 in the MACJC South Division. Pearl River climbed to 10-1, 4-0.

In men’s action, The Southwest Bears picked up a much-needed MACJC South Division win in front of a packed house Thursday night as they knocked off always-tough Pearl River 73-69 in Summit. With the win, the Bears climbed to 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the South. Pearl River dropped to 9-3 overall and 2-2.

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Southwest returns to action Tuesday as they prepare to host the Hinds Community College Bulldogs. The Lady Bears will tip off the action at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:15.

Pearl River 73, Southwest 72 

The first half was a back and forth affair featuring five ties. The Lady Wildcats led most of the way and had the largest lead of the half, 12-6, with 10:47 on the clock. A three-pointer with 1:46 to play put the visitors on top 25-22. The Lady Bears’ Tee Myers then scored on a layup with 0:30 showing to make the score 25-24 at the break.

Down 56-45 with 4:22 on the clock in the second half, the Lady Bears brought the home crowd to life, closing out regulation play on a 16-5 run. Traveling the length of the court, the Lady Bears forced overtime when Mault took a pass from Katrina Littlepage and fired in a three-pointer under pressure with only 0:03 on the clock.

With momentum on their side, the Lady Bears seemed to be on track for win number 12, taking a 70-65 lead with 2:26 left in the extra frame. However, Pearl River would not be denied as they scored eight of the last 10 points, capped by Kaci Sisson’s three-pointer, to escape with the win. The victory allowed the Lady Wildcats to claim sole possession of first place in the South Division.

Littlepage led four Lady Bears in double figures with 20 points in the game. Levy threw in 16 points while Myers had 13 and Mault picked up 10.

Essence Pulliam paced the Lady Wildcats’ attack with 20 points.

Southwest 73, Pearl River 59 

The Wildcats lived up to their reputation in the early going, taking a 15-8 lead with 13:32 left in the first half. The Bears battled back, however, to take a 25-23 lead on Deione Week’s jumper with 7:59 to play. The visitors answered with a basket by Rakeem Esco to tie the game at 25-25 with 7:29 on the clock.

An offensive rebound and basket from Jamal Hester then put the Bears on a 19-9 run, capped by Corey Williams’ jumper with 0:01 to play, to close out the first half and give them a 44-34 lead going into the intermission.

The Bears scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to extend their lead to 15 points, 51-36, with 16:35 left in the game. Slowly, but surely, the Wildcats battled back, tying the game at 64-64 on a pair of Kaven Bernard free throws with 4:29 to play.

Pearl River appeared to be on its way to a win as they then took a 69-66 lead with 2:41 remaining. But, the Bears would not be denied as a pair of Jaylen Moore buckets but them on top 70-69 with 1:18 to play. Free throws from Xavion Dillon, Twymond Howard and Williams helped seal the deal.

Howard led the Bears to victory with 18 points and 10 rebounds, his seventh double double of the season. Also in double figures for the Bears were Chris Jones (16), Moore (13) and Weeks and Williams (both with 10).

Bernard paced Pearl River with 14 points.