SCOOBA, Miss. – Following their semifinal-round showings during last week’s MACJC State Tournament in Ellisville, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams are set to participate in the 2009 NJCAA Region 23 Tournament in Clinton. Set to tip off Monday, the four-day tournament will be held at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
Men’s first-round action will take place Monday, while the women’s opening-round play is set for Tuesday on the MC campus. The semifinal-round contests will be held on Wednesday, while the championship games are currently slated for Thursday. However, both championship games could be rescheduled for Friday if Mississippi College is chosen to host an NCAA Division III Tournament game on Thursday.
Making their first NJCAA Region 23 appearance since 2005, coach Mark White’s 16-10 EMCC Lions take on Miss-Lou Conference champion Southern-Shreveport Monday at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to meet the winner of Monday’s first-round game between Copiah-Lincoln and Holmes Wednesday at noon.
The other side of the men’s bracket features MACJC State Champion Jones County against North Division champion Itawamba in Monday’s opening round, along with an MACJC South Division first-round battle between Mississippi Gulf Coast and Pearl River.
Set to participate in their first Region 23 tournament since the 1998-99 season, coach Sharon Thompson’s 21-5 EMCC women are set to face North Division rival Northwest Mississippi Tuesday at noon in first-round action. East Mississippi swept the Lady Rangers during the regular season, claiming a convincing 84-65 home win just prior to the Christmas holiday break and posting a thrilling 93-92 double-overtime triumph at Northwest to close out the month of January.
The winner of the EMCC-Northwest women’s battle will advance to meet the winner of Tuesday’s opening-round contest pitting MACJC State Champion Jones County and Southwest Mississippi Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The other side of the women’s Region 23 bracket features MACJC South Division foes Copiah-Lincoln versus East Central in Tuesday’s first-round play, along with Itawamba against Miss-Lou Conference champion Meridian Community College.
The men’s and women’s winners of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament in Clinton will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament to take place March 17-21 in Kansas. The men’s national tournament will be held at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, while the women’s tournament will be contested at the Salina Bicentennial Center in Salina.
With their most wins since the 1997-98 campaign, the EMCC men knocked off Mississippi Gulf Coast, 91-85, in first-round state tournament play last week in Ellisville before dropping a 76-72 decision in the semis to eventual state runner-up Copiah-Lincoln. In the midst of their best season since going 21-6 overall as undefeated North Division champions in 1992-93, EMCC’s Lady Lions earned a 67-58 opening-round state tournament triumph over Southwest Mississippi last week before having their 11-game winning streak snapped by virtue of a 59-54 setback in the semifinals to eventual state champion Jones County.