In a rare multi-team double-dip at Bonner Arnold Coliseum on the campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College, Ricky Ford’s Lady Tigers improved to 2-1 with a win over Jackson State (Tenn.) Community College while David Robbin’s Tigers took the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) No. 10 team to the brink.
Ford got a career-high 25 points from freshman Anna Brooke Page of Belmont while sophomores Amber Johnson (Pine Grove) and Chelsey Whitaker (Alcorn Central) combined for 37 points as the Lady Tigers handed the Lady Generals an 80-67 loss Tuesday night.
“They were a tough team,” Page said. “They kept fighting back. We played well as a team and I am glad we got the win.”
Robbins’ squad rebounded from a seven-point halftime deficit (47-40) and closed to within one with 17:59 left in the game. Northeast’s six-point run was highlighted by an alley-oop dunk by Robert Wade of Nashville, Tenn., but it wasn’t quite enough as the Tigers just couldn’t come away with the victory, falling to the Grizzlies 93-81.
In the opener, Northeast kept the pressure on Jackson State and took the lead when Johnson drained a three-pointer from the left wing with 8:26 left in the first half.
Johnson’s trifecta sparked the Lady Tigers to a 25-14 run to end the first half and gave the Lady Tigers a cushion heading into the second half.
Jackson State (0-3) closed to within single digits with 12:06 left in the game when Amelia Stacy got hot from beyond the arc making it a 55-46 game.
The Lady Generals made Northeast sweat out the victory when Breona Houston connected on 1-of-2 from the free throw line with 4:02 left in the game cutting the game to 68-63 but Northeast finished on a 12-4 spurt to capture its second win of the year.
In the nightcap, Northeast gave the No. 10 team in the country a run but came up short as the Grizzlies improved to 3-0 on the year with the 93-81 win.
Northeast (1-2) got a good night from Jermaine Holliman (Memphis, Tenn.) as Holliman drained six shots from beyond the arc en route to a 22-point night.
“We had a tough loss,” Holliman said. “We need to play better defense, shoot better in second half but I do think we did well against a quality team.”
Wade’s dunk cut the West Plains’ lead to one but the Grizzlies kept the pressure on the Tigers and pushed the lead back out to 10 with 10 minutes to play.
Holliman’s 22 lead the Tigers in scoring while four others checked in with double digits – Wade finished with 17, while Cedric Janes of Dyer County, Tenn. clocked in with 11 and Tyler Pritchard of Iuka checked in with 10 on the night.