POPLARVILLE – A poor night at the foul line and too many turnovers spelled defeat for Pearl River Community College as the Lady Wildcats dropped their South Division opener 53-48 to Meridian at M.R. White Coliseum.
The Lady Wildcats dropped to 5-2 overall; Meridian improved to 6-1 with its sixth consecutive victory.
PRCC trailed early 7-0, but fought back and held a brief lead late in the first quarter before Meridian regained the lead. The Lady Eagles led 22-18 at halftime and had a 13-point lead late in the third period before the Lady Wildcats rallied.
Pearl River went on a 17-3 run, regaining the lead on a foul shot by sophomore Tariah Mouton (Meridian) with 2:58 to play.
But a pair of costly turnovers led to empty possessions for the Lady Wildcats, and Meridian converted 9 of 12 free throws in the final 2½ minutes to regain the lead and keep PRCC at bay.
For the game, Pearl River committed 23 turnovers and were just 14 of 34 from the foul line.
Sophomore Tyasia Willis (Camden) led the Lady Wildcats with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks, but she was the only player in double figures for PRCC.
The Lady Wildcats will return to action after the Christmas break with a pair of non-division games, hosting LSU-Eunice at 2 p.m. on Jan. 6 and Delgado (La.) at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. Next division game for Pearl River will be Jan. 11 at Southwest.
Monday at Poplarville
Meridian 53, Pearl River 48
MCC 13 9 19 12 – 53
PRCC 13 5 14 16 – 48
MERIDIAN (6-1, 1-0 in South): Derria White 1, Mariah Collins 3, Rokila Wallace 18, Mallory Thompson 3, Quayon Bailey 11, Holly Hampton 2. Shannon Tate 15.
PEARL RIVER (5-2, 0-1 in South): Charisma Walker 5 (8 rebounds), Rehema Franklin 1, Tyasia Willis 16 (16 rebounds), Gabby Brown 5, Tariah Mouton 7, Cotoria Blackmon 3, Shauntelle Adams 6, Kyla Malone 3, Destiny Williams 2.