It was a case of too many missed opportunities for Pearl River Community College Saturday afternoon in its MACJC South Division women’s basketball opener at Meridian.
The Lady Wildcats came out on the short end of a 73-66 defeat to Meridian. It was PRCC’s first loss of the season after five victories to open the season, MCC improved to 4-1 and 1-0.
“I think our youth showed tonight,” said Lady Wildcat head coach Scotty Fletcher.
“We have a roster full of freshmen, and those girls who have made plays for us in previous games, unfortunately, didn’t make those plays tonight.”
The Lady Wildcats fell behind early, and trailed by 16 points midway through the second quarter, before climbing back in the game, trailing 38-32 at halftime.
PRCC had numerous opportunities to take the lead, but poor shooting, both from the field and the foul line, kept the Lady Wildcats from getting over the top. Pearl River converted just 22 of 74 shots from the field and missed 17 of 33 free throws.
“We just didn’t come out and compete the way we should have,” said freshman Rehema Franklin, who had 22 points for PRCC to lead all scorers. “We didn’t execute like we were supposed to and didn’t make shot when we needed to.”
Franklin’s steal midway through the third quarter led to a fast-break layup, a foul and a three-point play to cap a 9-1 run and cut MCC’s margin to 41-39. On the Lady Eagles’ ensuing possession, Tiarah Mouton got a steal and a breakaway opportunity, but she missed the layup when she was fouled, then missed both free throws.
Pearl River had other opportunities the remainder of the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, before Meridian increased its margin to as many as 10 points.
The Lady Eagles kept PRCC in the game down the stretch with poor free throw shooting of their own, missing 15 of 22 foul shots over the final 2:13, but the Lady Wildcats weren’t able to take advantage.
Freshman Tyasia Willis added 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Charisma Walker had 10 points for PRCC. Shannon Tate led Meridian with 11 points, and Rokila Wallace and Andriel Moss each scored 10 points for the Lady Eagles.
PRCC will play a pair of non-division games after the holiday break, both on the road, against Mississippi Delta on Jan. 5 and Delgado, La., on Jan. 9. South Division play resumes on Jan. 12 with a pair of games against Southwest at M.R. White Coliseum.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Saturday at Meridian
Meridian 73, Pearl River 66
PRCC 10 22 13 21 – 66
MCC 21 17 10 25 – 73
PEARL RIVER (5-1, 0-1 in South): Adyn Strickland 2, Charisma Walker 10, Rehema Franklin 22, Tyasia Willis 12 (11 rebounds), Tiarah Mouton 5, Kyla Malone 6, Destiny Williams 2, Tiara Robins 3, Aarmanii McDaniel 4.
MERIDIAN (4-1, 1-0 in South): Kashari Gordon 9, Mary Maxwell 5, Triesha Jackson 9, Tiana Campbell 2, Rokila Wallace 10, Roshanae Rice 7, Takarri Cooks 1, Halethe Jones 2, Qiyon Bailey 7, Andriel Moss 10, Shannon Tate 11.