POPLARVILLE – Maybe the Pearl River Community College men’s basketball team was due for a letdown against Jones County.
Whatever the case, the Wildcats broke down offensively with their worst game of the season, scoring just 14 points in the second half and dropping a key South Division contest to the Bobcats 53-47 Thursday night at White Coliseum.
Despite the loss, PRCC (15-3 overall) remained tied for first place in the South Division at 7-3, thanks to Hinds’ 79-74 win over Copiah-Lincoln. However, the win kept JCJC (11-8, 6-4) in the thick of the tight race for one of four spots in the MACJC State Tournament.
It looked like business as usual in the first half for the Wildcats, as they used runs of 11-0 and 10-0 to build a 13-point lead late in the first half, and led 33-23 at halftime.
PRCC still had a 12-point margin early in the second half, when the wheels fell off, and the Bobcats started whittling away at the margin.
Pearl River led 44-39 with seven minutes to play, then went nearly six minutes without scoring. Jones, meanwhile, closed the game with a 14-3 run, as the Wildcats converted just 5 of 24 shots (20.8 percent) in the second half.
Freshman Eric Thornton Jr. (Jackson) had 11 points to lead PRCC.
Pearl River will go on the road for its next game, at 7:30 p.m. Monday against Hinds at Utica. The Wildcats will be back at White Coliseum for their home finale next Thursday against East Central.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Thursday at Poplarville
Jones County 53, Pearl River 47
JCJC 23 30 – 53
PRCC 33 14 – 47
JONES COUNTY (11-8, 6-4 in South): David McCoy 8, Quentin Pough 3, Winceton Edwards 7, Michael Williams 6, David Gaines 3, Malik Henry 12, Kenneth Knight 14..
PEARL RIVER (15-3, 7-3 in South): Jonas James III 8, Cedric Brim Jr. 7, Rodney Mallett 6, Eric Thornton Jr. 11, Brandon Cranford 6, Ray Anderson 2, Kirk Parker 7.