Northwest Mississippi Community College forward Justin Gillard notched a game-high 22 points to lead the Rangers to a 79-64 victory against the Volunteer State Pioneers Nov. 17 at Howard Coliseum in Senatobia.
Gillard, a sophomore from Oxford, also racked up nine rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocked shots to help Northwest improve its record to 3-1. Gillard ranks in the top 25 in the country in scoring averaging 20.5 points per game.
The Rangers completed a series sweep of Volunteer State. Northwest opened the season with an 82-60 victory against the Pioneers Nov. 3 in Gallatin, Tenn.
A dunk by Gillard and a basket by Rico Key of Batesville broke a 21-21 tie and allowed the Rangers to close the first half with a 15-6 run and claim a 36-27 advantage at halftime.
Northwest stretched its lead to 56-36 in the first six minutes of the second half thanks to a three-pointer by Everick Morris of Olive Branch and buckets from Reggie Fondren of Memphis and Reggie Brown of Olive Branch. Gillard converted a three-point play with 3:06 left in the contest to give the Rangers a 77-52 cushion wrap up the win.
Brown was the only other Northwest player in double figures with 11 points, while Martrevious Sanders of Tunica and Akeem Anderson of Memphis added nine points each.
Brown and Anderson also chipped in with seven rebounds each.
The Rangers travel to Wesson Thursday, Nov. 19 to battle Copiah-Lincoln. Northwest returns home Saturday, Nov. 21 to host Northwest Shoals (Ala.) in Senatobia. Tip off is set for 4 p.m.
The Northwest Mississippi Community College Lady Rangers had several leads in the second half of their battle with the Volunteer State Lady Pioneers Nov. 17 at Howard Coliseum in Senatobia.
Holding those leads was the problem as Northwest dropped a 69-65 decision to fall to 2-2 overall.
The Lady Rangers overcame a 43-38 deficit in the second half with a 22-11 run to claim a 60-54 advantage with 6:14 remaining. Sophomore forward Hope Adams of Oxford sparked Northwest during that rally with seven points, including a three-point basket. De’Kisha Fondon of Water Valley also added a three-pointer, while Lanita Futrell of Coldwater scored on a lay up.
Volunteer State battled back to take a 61-60 lead, but Fondon stepped up with another three-pointer to put the Lady Rangers in front 65-63 with 3:52 left.
That’s the last time Northwest would lead in the contest. The Lady Pioneers scored the final six points of the night to claim the victory.
The Lady Rangers shot just 31.6 percent from the field by converting 25 of 79 attempts. Northwest was five of 24 from three-point range.
Adams led the Lady Rangers with 15 points and added seven rebounds. Futrell and Sandrick Bowen of Holly Springs chipped in with 10 points each. Futrell, Fondon, and Dequashia Simpson of Milan, Tenn., had eight rebounds each.
The Lady Rangers travel to Wesson Thursday, Nov. 19 to battle Copiah-Lincoln. Northwest returns home to host Northwest Shoals (Ala.) Saturday, Nov. 21 in Senatobia. The game starts at 2 p.m.