In a later game, Northeast lost 76-59 to Jones County.
ICC will take on Pearl River in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Wildcats beat Holmes 68-48 on Monday.
Itawamba (18-8) pushed its way out to a 34-24 lead by halftime and led by as much as 16 points in the second half. Hinds (18-7) trimmed the led to 65-56 with under two minutes left in the game, but a spirited timeout by Itawamba coach Marty Cooper got the Indians refocused to close the game out with a 6-2 run for their fifth win in a row.
“When Todd makes shots, it opens up so much for the rest of the team and that was huge for us in the first half,” said Cooper. “Give all the credit to the players. They executed the game plan to perfection, maybe for the first time of the season, on both ends of the floor.”
Akeem Cadell led the way with 14 points and Melvin Morgan added 12. Nelson finished 11 points and 4 assists and Vincenzo Nelson recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kenny Mullin, a former Oxford player, led Hinds with 16 points and nine rebounds.
ICC’s Lady Indians (17-8) will start tournament play against Southwest (18-9) today at 5:30 p.m. A win would put the Lady Indians into Wednesday’s semifinals against today’s Co-Lin and East Mississippi winner.
Both ICC men and women along with the Northeast men have already qualified for the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament next week at Mississippi College.
Jones County 76, Northeast 59
- Northeast got off to an inauspicious start falling behind 18-7 in the first eight minutes of the game before tying the game 25 with 2:20 left in the first half.
Jones County scored off a pair of turnovers to take a 33-30 lead into the break.
The Tigers took their first lead of the game 36-35 when Dominique Hunt connected on a pair of free throws at the 16:44 mark of the second half. Jones countered with a 22-9 run sparked by a three-pointer from Nic Combs to give the Wildcats a 57-45 edge midway through the second half.
Northeast pulled within 57-49 with 7:42 left in the final frame, but Jones County was able to pull away for the 76-59 win to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals.
Tyrie Berry led the Tigers with a game-high 21 while Brandon Wilson paced the Wildcats with 17 points.