JCJC loses MACJC title game in OT

|Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director

Ellisville, Miss. - Jones County Junior College overcame a 17-point deficit in the final 7:28 of regulation to force overtime vs. Southwest in the MACJC Men’s Tournament championship game.

But the Bobcats ran out of steam in the extra session and dropped a 94-83 decision to the Bears here Thursday night in the Davis Event Center on the campus of Itawamba Community College.It was JCJC’s second straight overtime contest in the tournament.

The Bobcats defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast 95-93 in double overtime in the semifinals on Wednesday.JCJC, 17-7, will now head to the Region 23 Tournament March 2-5 in the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.

JCJC is expected to play Northwest in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Lady Bobcats are expected to play Baton Rouge Community College on Wednesday in the regional. The official Region 23 Tournament bracket will be released on Friday.

Southwest ends the season at 17-8. Even as the MACJC champions, the Bears did not qualify for the regional.

Bears 94, Bobcats 83 (OT)

Southwest appeared to be in command when Rodrick Sikes made two free throws with 7:28 to play to give the Bears a 67-50 lead.

But the Bobcats used a pressing defense to cause the Bears all kinds of problems. A Rickey Holden reverse layup got JCJC within 68-62 with 4:26 to play. Two David Davis free throws made it 71-68 with 2:54 remaining. Sikes made a reverse layup with 2:22 left to put Southwest up 73-68. It was the Bears’ first field goal since the 8:00 mark.

The Bobcats then got a 3-point play from Bruce Stevens with 2:09 showing to make it 73-71, but Sikes hit two free throws at 1:50 to give the Bears a 75-71 lead. Holden then scored at 1:37.

After the Bears missed a shot, Stevens scored to tie the game at 75-75 with 53.5 seconds to play. That was the first tie since 32-32 late in the first half.

Southwest then missed a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down, but they got the rebound and held for the last shot. But LeDerrius Simmons missed on a drive to the goal and the game went into overtime.

The Bears never trailed in the extra session.James Hawthorne hit a 3-pointer at 4:14 to put Southwest up 78-75. Dunlap then made a free throw for JCJC, but Lafayette Rutledge made a layup to give the Bears an 80-76 lead at the 3:35 mark. A Sikes’ free throw put Southwest ahead 81-76 with 2:58 left.

Stevens answered quickly with 2:43 left to make it 81-78. But Southwest then went on a 7-0 run and took an 88-78 lead with 1:09 to play when Sikes made two more free throws. Andre Johnson finally scored for the Bobcats with 53.5 seconds to play to make it 88-80, but JCJC would get not closer.

The Bobcats led for most of the first half and took a 20-14 lead with 7:14 showing when Davis made a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Johnson’s 12-footer with 2:38 left in the half put the Bobcats up 30-26, but Southwest closed the half on a 10-2 run and led 36-32 at halftime.Stevens led the Bobcats with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Holden added 15 points and nine rebounds. Dunlap finished with 13 points and Davis had 12. Stevens and Dunlap each had three assists and Andrew Riley had three steals. Sikes had a game-high 31 points for the Bears. Bryce Baker and Hawthorne had 13 points each, while Rutledge and Guy Johnson had 10 points each.JCJC was 27-of-65 from the floor (4-of-11 from 3-point range) for 42 percent. The Bobcats were 25-of-33 from the foul line.Southwest was 26-of-53 (11-of-26 from beyond the arc) for 49 percent.

The Bears were 31-of-44 from the free throw line. Each team had 38 rebounds. Southwest committed 15 turnovers and JCJC had 14.

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