Special to the Journal
FULTON – The Itawamba Community College Indians were looking to follow up a quality win Monday with another victory on Thursday.
At least that was the plan.
Instead, the Indians lost 84-77 to Copiah-Lincoln in their last tuneup before North Division play begins.
“We dug a big hole, then our guys started playing with intensity, some fire,” said Indians head coach Grant Pate, whose team was coming off a win Monday over previously undefeated and No. 19 ranked Jones County. “But in college basketball, it’s a big hill to climb when you dig that big a hole.”
Itawamba (7-5) faced a 56-39 deficit at one point in the second half. The Indians were still trailing 59-43 after a Keyana Miller 3-pointer.
But from there, ICC went on a 14-2 run. At the 5:52 mark, a Kevis Fleming 3-pointer had the Indians only looking at a 65-62 deficit.
Two key 3-pointers by Chris Stevenson helped the Wolves push their lead back to 80-69.
“We gave up too many layups, gave up too much penetration, “ said Pate. “We defended with intensity tonight, but we have to come back with more effort on defense.”
Johnathan McGee led the ICC offense with 16 points, while Stevenson scored 18 to lead Co-Lin. The visitors had a 42-30 halftime lead.
Itawamba begins North play Monday at Northwest.
(W) Copiah-Lincoln 58, Itawamba 45: The Lady Indians (6-6) were victims of two Co-Lin runs that were too much to overcome.
ICC was within 42-40 as late as 7:31 to play, but in the next six minutes a 16-3 move by Co-Lin sealed the win.
Tia Coleman had a double-double for ICC with 10 points and 12 rebounds.