The Highway 45 hoops rivalry resumes Thursday evening on the Meridian Community College campus, as the preseason 11th-ranked East Mississippi Community College Lions invade Graham Gymnasium for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against the home-standing Eagles. In Thursday’s doubleheader opener, the visiting EMCC Lady Lions will take on the host Meridian Lady Eagles at 5:30 p.m.
Coach Mark White’s four-time reigning NJCAA Region 23 Champion EMCC Lions will make their season debut Thursday against Coach Cedric Drake’s 0-1 Meridian ballclub. The Eagles dropped their opener, 90-74, this past Monday at Alabama Southern. With a 9-1 career record against Meridian, including a current eight-game series win string versus the Eagles, White’s EMCC club swept Meridian last season with an 89-69 victory in Scooba and a 67-63 triumph in Meridian.
Women’s action Thursday on the MCC campus will feature a matchup of early unbeatens. Ninth-year EMCC head women’s coach Sharon Thompson brings her 2-0 Lady Lions to Meridian on the heels of lop-sided tournament wins over San Jacinto [TX] College (70-46) and Houston [TX] Community College (66-36) during last weekend’s Lady Bear Classic hosted by Baton Rouge Community College.
Coach Jocelyn McGilberry’s Lady Eagles prevailed in their season opener, 61-56, earlier this week on the road against Alabama Southern. The Meridian women swept EMCC last season, winning 61-54 in Scooba and completing the sweep with a 48-44 overtime victory at home.
EMCC and Meridian are scheduled to meet again in doubleheader hoops action, Jan. 9, on the Scooba campus.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will make their collective home season debut next Thursday (Nov. 14) by playing host to East Central Community College in Scooba. A 5:30 p.m. women’s game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.