POPLARVILLE – It wasn’t pretty to the casual observer, but Monday night’s win over Mississippi Gulf Coast looked good to Pearl River Community College women’s basketball coach Scotty Fletcher.
Despite scoring their season-low in points, the Lady Wildcats came away winners, as they held Gulf Coast to just eight points in the second half of a 41-31 victory at Perkinston, keeping alive their hopes for a berth in the MACJC State Tournament.
Pearl River (14-8 overall, 6-7 in division) can earn a spot in next week’s tournament at Senatobia with a victory over Copiah-Lincoln Thursday at Wesson or a loss by Hinds to East Central. Gulf Coast dropped to 6-16 and 0-13.
“It was ugly, but I like it low-scoring like that,” said Fletcher. “Our defense, especially in the second half, was tremendous. Now we need this one Thursday.”
The Lady Wildcats trailed by as many as seven points in the first half, but closed the margin to 23-19 at halftime. PRCC took the lead for good 25-23 with 4:19 to play in the third quarter on a layup by sophomore Tyasia Willis (Camden).
PRCC led 27-25 after the third quarter, and steadily pulled away in the fourth quarter, grabbing a 38-31 lead with 3:53 remaining on a four-point by sophomore Rah Franklin (New Orleans), when she was fouled while making a 3-point shot.
Franklin finished with 14 points to lead the Lady Wildcats. Willis had 10 points and 15 rebounds, her 10th career double-double, and sixth this season. Sophomore Charisma Walker (Brandon) grabbed 13 rebounds and sophomore Destiny Williams (Liberty) had 8 rebounds.
Tipoff Thursday night at Wesson is scheduled for 6 p.m.