No. 19 Bobcats whip Southwest to reach Region 23 semifinals

Courtesy: JCJC Sports Information Director

CLINTON – The 19th-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats delivered a dominant performance in the opening round of the Region 23 Tournament here Thursday afternoon.

The Bobcats placed six players in double figures en route to a 109-83 victory over Southwest Mississippi in the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College.

JCJC, 21-5, will now play East Mississippi in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Friday. East Mississippi scored at the buzzer to beat Mississippi Gulf Coast 69-68 on Thursday. The game will air on

The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament March 17-22 in Hutchinson, Kan.

Southwest ends the season at 12-13.

Bobcats 109, Bears 83

Thaddeus Hall's basket at the 15:39 mark capped a 10-0 run and gave the Bobcats a 16-5 lead with 15:39 left in the first half. JCJC then used a 12-0 run, punctuated by a Bryce Jones' 3-point play, to take a 34-10 lead with 12:16 left.

JCJC's longest lead of the first half would be 27 points on three occasions – the final time being 57-30 with 3:26 left when Leo Garrett scored. The Bobcats led 66-41 at halftime.

It was more of the same in the second half.

Christopher White's putback with 14:28 left made it 80-51. Hall's two free throws made it 86-61 with 10:39 left.

Hall's basket with 6:38 left made it 97-68. The Bobcats led by as many as 29 points three times in the second half.

Hall had 25 points for JCJC, while Fludd added 24. White and Jones added 15 each, Johnny Zuppardo had 13 and Garrett finished with 11.

Jaylen Moore and Twymond Howard had 21 each for the Bears. Deione Weeks finished with 12, Chris Jones had 11 and Xavion Dillon added 10.