Thursday, February 25, 2016

ECCC Women to Play for State Basketball Title After Knocking Off Co-Lin

The East Central Community College Lady Warrior basketball team scored the last nine points of the game to pull out a come-from-behind 65-61 win over the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves in the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State Basketball Tournament Wednesday, Feb. 24.

With the win, the ECCC Lady Warriors will now play for an MACJC State Championship on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. in the Davis Event Center on the campus of Itawamba Community College in Fulton. East Central, the No. 1 seed out of the MACJC South Division, will face the winner of the Jones County Junior College vs. Itawamba game to be played Wednesday evening.

“That group is resilient, they are tough, anything that describes a special team, they've got it. We didn't have our best game today, and Co-Lin knows us well,” ECCC Head Coach Crandal Porter said after his Lady Warriors defeated Co-Lin for the third time this season.

“Co-Lin has a strong tradition of winning and they wanted to win, but we just gutted it out as our girls have been doing all season.”

East Central has now won 18 straight games and improved its season record to 23-2. Co-Lin, the No. 3 seed out of the South Division, fell to 21-4.

In the semifinal matchup against Co-Lin, East Central trailed the entire game until Samantha Duncan hit a three-pointer with 1:19 to play to give the Lady Warriors a 63-61 lead. East Central trailed 61-56 with 3:14to play before outscoring the Lady Wolves 9-0 the rest of the way for the 65-61 win.

“I prayed to God let him help me make that three and he did,” said Duncan of her game-winning shot. “All the glory goes to Him.”

Co-Lin was up by as many as 11 points in the first half and nine at the intermission, before East Central started slowly chipping away at the lead in the second half.

Duncan, a product of Oak Grove High School, and Alexia McDonald out of Petal High School each had 19 points to lead East Central. Meridian High School product Miracle Rushing had a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Johnta’ Hughes out of Hattiesburg High School scored 10 points, dished out six assists and had two steals.

The two teams finished almost even in most major statistical categories for the contest.

The East Central Lady Warriors are already assured a berth in next week’s National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament at Mississippi College in Clinton by virtue of their MACJC South Division Championship.

The Lady Warriors’ last loss was back on Dec. 7, 2015, to Jones County Junior College, 95-84, in Ellisville.

Listen to all East Central Community College basketball games at: The MACJC State Tournament games also can be viewed by live stream at