By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – The Itawamba Community College Lady Indians are handling their business of playing basketball in a very professional manner at this point on the calendar.
The Lady Indians maintained an all-important zero in the loss column in North Division play Thursday, downing the East Mississippi Lady Lions 61-45.
“This was a really good defensive game for us,” Itawamba head coach Nanci Gray said. “I think our 2-3 zone gave them some trouble.”
In a very even-tempo, methodical effort, the Lady Indians (14-2, 5-0) saw a solid, early effort by the visiting Lady Lions, with the score tied at 15-15. From there, ICC went on a 9-0 run, helped by a 3-pointer from Jameika Hoskins, and capped by a Vechatita Bonner rebound and basket that gave the Lady Indians a 24-15 advantage.
The Lady Lions hung around, taking a 38-36 lead with 13 minutes, 2 seconds to play in the second half on a Chadisty Hickman layup. The Lady Indians did not panic.
A Hoskins layup began a crucial 14-0 for the home team, with Shay Bonner and Ty-Nita Baker draining key 3-pointers. The run was capped by another Hoskins basket with 8:40 to play for a 50-38 lead, and the Lady Indians were able to control the contest down the stretch.
Hoskins paced the Lady Indians offense with 20 points, while Alvida Clemons led East with 16.
(M) East Mississippi 61, Itawamba 50: The effort the Indians showed Monday in its win against rival Northeast was not apparent against the division-leading Lions.
The Indians (7-9, 3-2) did show a bit of fight in the first half with a 9-0 run highlighted by a D. J. Gardner 3-pointer that gave the home team a 15-13 lead.
The Lions (5-0 in North play) answered to lead 26-21 at the half, and only led 35-30 with 14:53 to play in the second period following an Anthony McDonald 3-pointer for ICC.
“That was the moment in the game we needed to seize the opportunity,” Itawamba head coach Marty Cooper said. “And we didn’t.
“Our top seven or eight did not give the effort.”
East went on to build as much as a 61-43 lead. No player scored in double figures for ICC, which was in second place in the division entering the contest.