Freshman Tyasia Willis had a tremendous all-around game for Pearl River Community College Thursday night, leading the Lady Wildcats to a much-needed 63-53 victory over Meridian in women’s basketball action at M.R. White Coliseum.
PRCC snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 9-6 overall and 2-6 in the South Division. Meridian lost its fourth straight game and fell to 8-10 and 2-6.
Willis, a 5-foot-10 forward from Velma Jackson, scored 13 points, and had 10 rebounds, 7 blocked shots and 5 steals for Pearl River.
“I knew when I saw her in high school that she was something special,” said PRCC coach Scotty Fletcher. “She’s always upbeat, and has tremendous leadership skills. And she was phenomenal tonight.”
It was Willis who held the Lady Wildcats together in the fourth quarter after leading scorer Rahema Franklin fouled out early in the period, leaving the game with a team-high 15 points.
The Lady Wildcats used an 8-1 run to end the first quarter, capped by back-to-back 3-point shots by Franklin, to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Franklin also closed the first half with another trey to give PRCC a 28-21 lead at halftime, after the Lady Eagles used a 12-2 run to tie the game 21-21 late in the second quarter.
Pearl River led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but were unable to put Meridian away. However, the Lady Wildcats converted 9 of 11 foul shots in the fourth quarter to keep the Lady Eagles at bay and secure the victory.
Freshman Charisma Walker added 9 points and 11 rebounds for Pearl River. Kashari Gordon scored 20 points to lead Meridian.
The Lady Wildcats will be back on the road at 5:30 p.m. Monday to face Southwest, then they will travel to face Jones County on Thursday.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Thursday at Poplarville
Pearl River 63, Meridian 53
Meridian 9 12 15 17 – 53
Pearl River 15 13 16 19 – 63
MERIDIAN (8-10, 2-6 in South Division): Kashari Gordon 20, Mary Macwell 4, Rokila Wallace 3, Rashonae Rice 14, Takerri Cooks 5, Shannon Tate 7.
PEARL RIVER (9-6, 2-6 in South Division): Adyn Strickland 5, Charisma Walker 9 (11 rebounds), Rehema Franklin 15, Tyasia Willis 13 (10 rebounds, 7 blocks, 5 steals), Tariah Mouton 3, Cotoria Blackmon 4, Kyla Malone 7, Destiny Williams 4, Tiara Robins 1.