Junior college basketball

BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College’s men and women’s basketball teams open up the 2010 year with a pair of non-division matches before jumping back into North Division action on Jan. 14 against Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Northeast hosts Jones County Junior College in its first game back from the holiday break on Tuesday, January 5 at Bonner Arnold Coliseum with tipoffs set for 2 and 4 p.m.

David Robbins’ Tiger basketball team comes into the 2010 portion of the season with a 5-6 record and a 1-1 mark while Ricky Ford’s Lady Tigers sport a 3-6 mark and are identical to the men in the North Division at 1-1.

Northeast and Jones County faced off on Nov. 16 in Ellisville with the Lady Bobcats and Bobcats sweeping Northeast 75-61 and 93-82 respectively.

Since that time, Robbins’ Tigers have reeled off four wins in their last five outings while Ford’s crew will look to break a two-game slide since waxing Holmes Community College on Dec. 3 72-32.

Northeast will see its first action in 25 days when the Tigers and Lady Tigers take on the Bobcats and Lady Bobcats. Northeast final game of the 2009 campaign came on Dec. 12 when Northeast split with Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson.

Northeast had to postpone its scheduled final game of the 2009 campaign with Arkansas Baptist on Dec. 14 and that contest has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 and 4 p.m.

Jones County enters Tuesday’s contest with even more of a layover than Northeast. JCJC last saw action 27 days ago when Jones County split with Delgado (La.) Community College on Dec. 10.

Sandra Sumrall brings her Lady Bobcats into the Bonner Arnold Coliseum sporting a 9-1 record on the season and a seven-game win streak while Bobcat mentor Don ‘Bubba’ Skelton will lead the 6-4 Bobcats on Tuesday.

Following the Jones County match up, Northeast has two more home dates – Copiah-Lincoln (Jan. 7) and Northwest on Jan. 11 before hitting the road against rival Itawamba Community College on Jan. 14.

ICC in action

After not playing for nearly three weeks during the holiday break, Itawamba Community College’s two basketball programs return to the hardwood for a rare Wednesday night doubleheader at the Davis Event Center. The past two MACJC state men’s and women’s champions will be on display in Fulton, when ICC, which swept the 2007 state titles, hosts Jones County Junior College, the defending state champs, beginning at 5:30 with the women’s tilt.

The Lady Indians (8-5, 2-0) have won five of their last six games but did lose a tight contest at Jones (9-1, 2-0 and winners of seven straight) back on Nov. 19, 76-73. ICC continues to be led in scoring by sophomore Lori Crudup of Pontotoc (14 ppg), who has finished in double figures in scoring in 12 of the 13 contests so far this season.

“Lori has been so steady all season long but she’s getting some help from our other three sophomores (Destini Shannon and Tasha Berry of Tupelo and Birdie Bowens of Tuscumbia, Ala.) and that’s been a key for us,” said ICC head coach Nanci Gray, whose program has won or shared the last two north division titles. “And we’re getting contributions each night from a handful of our freshmen and that will definitely help us as we enter the second half of the season.”

The Indians (9-3, 2-0) have been victorious in each of their last five outings and were able to escape Ellisville back in November with an 88-79 victory over JCJC (6-4, 2-0). Itawamba continues to showcase balanced scoring led by freshman point guard Melvin Morgan of Memphis with a 13.5 average. Wesley McIntosh of Houlka, who is coming off a 22 point performance against Motlow State, is second on the squad in scoring at 11 ppg, while Vincenzo Nelson of Clinton is third at 10 ppg. A trio of other Indians are averaging between 7.5 and 9 points per game, led by sophomore Jeremy Word of Nettleton with that nine points per game clip.

NEMS Daily Journal

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