January 21, 2018

(Left photo) ECCC's Autumn Taylor drives through the Gulf Coast defense in the Lady Warriors' win. (Right photo). Jaquan Dotson goes high for two of his 28 points in the Warriors' loss to Gulf Coast. (EC Photos)

The East Central Community College Lady Warriors used a strong second half to pull away from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Lady Bulldogs 73-54 in basketball action Saturday, Jan. 20, snapping a three-game losing streak.

The ECCC Warriors dropped a high-scoring 90-85 contest to the Gulf Coast Bulldogs in the second game of the afternoon despite getting 29 points from sophomore guard Thurston McCarty of Quitman and 28 from sophomore guard Jaquan Dotson of Neshoba Central.

The MACJC South Division basketball games were played on a Saturday after winter weather on Tuesday forced the contests to be postponed.

The ECCC Lady Warriors broke open a close game in the third period, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 23-8. East Central, which had a 33-30 lead at the intermission, led by as many as 27 points in the second half.

ECCC shot 53 percent from the floor in the final two periods, after only managing to hit 27 percent of its shots in the first 20 minutes. The Lady Warriors’ defense held Gulf Coast to 28 percent from the field for the game, including just 2 of 21 from beyond the three-point line.

East Central got balanced scoring in the game, with 11 players in the scoring column. The Lady Warriors were led by sophomore guard Autumn Taylor out of Newton with a dozen points, along with five assists and three steals. Freshman guard Breanna Riley out of Biloxi High School was also in double figures with 10.

With the win, East Central snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 9-3 overall and 2-2 in MACJC South Division play. The Gulf Coast Lady Bulldogs fell to 5-7 and 0-4.

In the second game, the ECCC Warriors jumped out to a 14-point 26-12 lead just seven minutes into the game. Gulf Coast would eventually take its first lead of the game 44-43 with one minute to play in the first half, before the Warriors settled for a 45-44 lead at the half.

The Bulldogs would grab the lead for good in the final 20 minutes, leading by as many as nine, 67-58, with 10 minutes to play.

Both teams shot well from the floor, with ECCC hitting 57 percent of its shots in the first 20 minutes, and the Bulldogs hitting over 50 percent for the game. The difference was at the free throw line where Gulf Coast went to the line five more times that the Warriors, and hit that many more free shots.

In addition to the combined 58 points from McCarty and Dotson, the Warriors got 11 points from freshman guard Roti Ware out of Morton. Sophomore forward Cameron Diggs (Mobile, Ala., Blount) had a game-high 11 rebounds.

East Central’s overall record fell to 8-5. The Warriors are 2-2 in MACJC South Division play. The Gulf Coast Bulldogs improved to 9-4 and 2-2.

The ECCC Warriors and Lady Warriors will remain at home on Monday, Jan. 22, to host Pearl River Community College. Game times are 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

ECCC will travel to Ellisville on Thursday, Jan. 25, to face Jones County Junior College. Women’s action is at 5:30 p.m. and the men follow at 7:30 p.m.

All home basketball games can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.