EMCC basketball teams set to host NJCAA Region 23 Tournament games

EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum
EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum(EMCC Athletics)
Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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— In securing No. 6 regional seeds with third-place MACCC North Division regular-season finishes, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams are set to begin competition by hosting second-round games during this week’s NJCAA Region 23 Basketball Tournament action.

Following first-round byes, the EMCC women will play host to 11th-seeded Copiah-Lincoln (5-8) on Wednesday (March 31), while the EMCC men will entertain No. 11 seed Southwest Mississippi (6-8, 7-9 overall) on Thursday (April 1).  Both second-round tournament contests are set to tip off at 6 p.m. at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.

Coach Sharon Thompson’s reigning conference champion EMCC Lady Lions enter postseason tournament competition with a 10-4 record both overall and in division play.  They have won six of their last seven decisions, including a four-game winning streak before dropping a 51-50 home decision to MACCC North Division co-champion Itawamba back on March 20.  The Lady Lions closed out the regular season with a commanding 81-39 home triumph over Northwest Mississippi last Wednesday (March 24).

Coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions posted an 11-5 overall record and 9-4 division mark during regular-season play.  They will begin regional action having won eight of their last 10 contests, including a pair of four-game win streaks.  The Lions concluded the regular season by dropping a 73-62 home decision to Holmes on March 22.

Because of their division-only schedule, the EMCC women did not meet the Co-Lin Lady Wolves during the 2021 regular season.

Along with playing their MACCC North Division slate, the Lions split a pair of inter-division February decisions with Southwest Mississippi and posted an 87-70 road win over Meridian.  During their regular-season split with Southwest, the EMCC men avenged a 90-83 home overtime loss to the Bears (Feb. 6) by claiming a narrow 76-75 road win over SMCC three weeks later (Feb. 27) in Summit.

Following this week’s opening rounds, tournament action will continue at on-campus sites of higher seeded teams with the Region 23 quarterfinals set for April 5-6 (women on Monday and men on Tuesday).  The tournament semifinals (April 7-8) and championship contests (April 9) will then be played at Mississippi College in Clinton.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MACCC is not playing its annual basketball conference tournaments this year.  Instead, the MACCC North Division and MACCC South Division regular-season champions have been declared co-conference champions for 2021.  In response to the pandemic, divisional winners were named using a formula consisting of 80 percent of a team’s winning percentage and 20 percent of a team’s total number of games played.

In women’s action, Coahoma and Itawamba shared the MACCC North Division title, while top-ranked Jones went undefeated in the MACCC South.  In men’s play, Northeast Mississippi edged Holmes to claim the MACCC North crown, while ninth-ranked Pearl River won the MACCC South title.

2021 NJCAA Region 23 Women’s Basketball Tournament

First Round (Monday, March 29)

(17) Hinds at (16) Mississippi Delta

(18) Southern-Shreveport at (15) Baton Rouge

(19) Northeast Mississippi at (14) Northwest Mississippi

Second Round (Wednesday, March 31)

Delta/Hinds winner at (1) Jones

(9) Delgado at (8) Pearl River

(13) East Central at (4) Meridian

(12) Mississippi Gulf Coast at (5) LSU Eunice

BRCC/Shreveport winner at (2) Coahoma

(10) Holmes at (7) Southwest Mississippi

Northwest/Northeast winner at (3) Itawamba

(11) Copiah-Lincoln at (6) East Mississippi

Quarterfinals (Monday, April 5) – at on-campus sites

Semifinals (Wednesday, April 7) – at Clinton, MS (Mississippi College)

Championship Game (Friday, April 9) – at Clinton, MS (Mississippi College)

2021 NJCAA Region 23 Men’s Basketball Tournament

First Round (Tuesday, March 30)

(17) Mississippi Delta at (16) Coahoma

(18) Baton Rouge at (15) Copiah-Lincoln

(19) Southern-Shreveport at (14) East Central

Second Round (Thursday, April 1)

Coahoma/Delta winner at (1) Pearl River

(9) Northwest at (8) Jones

(13) Itawamba at (4) LSU Eunice

(12) Mississippi Gulf Coast at (5) Holmes

Co-Lin/BRCC winner at (2) Northeast Mississippi

(10) Delgado at (7) Meridian

ECCC/Shreveport winner at (3) Hinds

(11) Southwest Mississippi at (6) East Mississippi

Quarterfinals (Tuesday, April 6) – at on-campus sites

Semifinals (Thursday, April 8) – at Clinton, MS (Mississippi College)

Championship Game (Friday, April 9) – at Clinton, MS (Mississippi College)

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