To say the first and second half between the Wildcats and Rangers Wednesday was night and day would be an understatement. Pearl River Community College trailed Northwest Mississippi Community College 41-24 at halftime, but PRCC rallied to get the 65-62 win in the MACJC state tournament.
Northwest Mississippi led by as many as 19 points with 3:25 left in the first half. The Rangers took a 41-24 lead into the locker room at halftime. "It seemed like we were really sluggish. We didn't come out with much enthusiasm to start the game," Wildcat head coach Richard Mathis said after the win.
However, things began to change early in the second half. Sophomore guard Xavian Rimmer hit back-to-back three pointers to start the half. Before you knew it, the Wildcats were back in the game. "Before long, momentum had jumped off that (NW Mississippi) bench, and jumped on the Wildcat bench," said Mathis.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Pearl River had cut the Rangers' lead to 45-39. The Wildcats took a 48-47 lead with 10:40 left in the second half on a Kaven Bernard lay-up, and they never trailed again. "We were in essence dead in the water and I told them I saw some fight in the Wildcats tonight that I was glad to see. There ain't no quit in the Wildcats," Mathis said after the comeback win.
PRCC was led by Xavian Rimmer with a game-high 17 points. Kaven Bernard and DeAngelo Coleman both added 14 points.
PRCC will face Mississippi Delta Community College Thursday night at Shivers Gymnasium for the MACJC Men's State Championship. Tip-off is set for 7 pm.