POPLARVILLE — Pearl River's women gave No. 9 Jones College all it could handle Monday night.
In front of a near capacity crowd at Marvin R. White Coliseum, the Lady Wildcats traded shots with the Lady Bobcats for much of the contest before eventually falling 57-48.
PRCC held Jones to 12 points below its previous season-low.
"We played really hard and guarded well," PRCC coach Scotty Fletcher said. "Jones is averaging a bunch of points. We're going to guard every night at a high level but we have to find a way to make shots. We just didn't make shots tonight."
A combination of three 3-pointers and a smothering defense saw PRCC (7-4 overall, 1-2 MACJC) hold a 17-16 advantage after the first quarter.
The Lady Wildcats weren't satisfied with a measly one-point lead and scored the first seven points of the second quarter to push ahead 24-16. JC (12-1, 3-0) out-scored the hosts the remainder of the half, but PRCC still maintained a 30-25 lead at the mid-way point.
Jones College used a 10-2 run out of the break to regain its first lead since late in the first frame. Despite trailing 34-32, PRCC continued to press JC and the two teams entered the final quarter deadlocked at 36-36.
JC scored seven of the next eight points to take a 42-37 advantage. While PRCC rallied to tie the game at 44-44 on an Elexis Peyton (Jackson; Provine) 3-pointer, the visiting Lady Bobcats snuffed out the upset bid.
"This may look like a loss but it's a lesson learned," Fletcher said. "… We have to be better in late game situations."
LEADING THE WAY
Mychala "Pooh" Linzy sparked PRCC early on, scoring 11 of her team-high 15 points in the first quarter.
"I thought Pooh Linzy was by far our best ball handler tonight," Fletcher said. "She was really good."
While Linzy starred for PRCC, knocking down all four of her 3-point attempts, Fletcher was disappointed in her supporting cast Monday.
"Right now we're not converting on offensive rebound putbacks close to the basket. We have to be better at that," he said. "When you have one girl in double figures you can't beat a Top 15 team."
Peyton did a little bit of everything for PRCC. She was second on the team with nine points — despite converting just 3 of 16 from the floor — and added team-highs in rebounds (11) and assists (4). She also tied for the team's lead with two steals.
The Lady Wildcats return to action Thursday with a road trip to Hinds. The 5:30 p.m. contest will be broadcast on WRJW 1320 AM and online atWRJWRadio.com.
"We're going to get back in the office tomorrow, back in the lab," Fletcher said. "We have a tough stretch coming up."