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NE hoops closes out ’13 slate Thursday
by Blake Long
Dec 02, 2013 | 88 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOONEVILLE -- A short, but all too crucial, December portion of the Northeast Mississippi Community College basketball schedule kicks off with a bang this week.

The Lady Tigers and Tigers make their last set of appearances inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum during the fall 2013 semester this week. Northeast played Gadsden State (Ala.) Community College on Monday.

On Thursday, Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division play is set to open when Itawamba Community College makes the short trek to Booneville. Play is slated to tipoff at 5:30 p.m. with women’s action first followed by the men’s contest approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the lid lifter.

For the second year in a row, WNAU-AM is the home of Northeast basketball on the airwaves. Join Jeremy Kennedy, the Voice of the Tigers, at 5:15 p.m. for the pregame show by setting your radio dial to 1470 AM.

Those that cannot pick up the broadcast in their area can still listen to the Tigers by webcast. A link to WNAU-AM’s live Internet stream is available on the Northeast athletic website, www.nemccathletics.com.

Fans not in attendance can also keep up to date during these matchups with live in-game updates at the new home of Northeast sports on Twitter by searching and following @NEMCCTigers.

The start of conference play presents the opportunity to begin a new chapter for Cord Wright and the Tigers, who went 2-6 against a rugged schedule in the first month of the campaign. Four of those losses came to opponents that currently hold a combined 21-3 record.

“It’s an opportunity right now to wipe the slate clean,” said Wright, Northeast’s first-year commander in chief. “I think that we’ve done some good things. Our record is not a reflection of who we really are.”

Dimario Jackson has been one of a number of positives so far this season for the Tigers. The freshman from Brusly, La., enters league competition as a top-20 free throw shooter nationwide.

Jackson is a sharp 50 of 60 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe, the best among athletes in the MACJC. He also leads the Tigers with 13.6 points per outing.

Al Azulphar hopes to keep up his steady play in the post. The reigning MACJC Player of the Week is the state’s leading shot blocker with 31 and also averages 8.7 rebounds each game.

The North opener could be a challenging one for the Lady Tigers as Itawamba boasts six sophomores from its NJCAA Region 23 Tournament championship squad of a year ago.

“You want opportunities, and we’re going to have opportunities to continue to grow and get better,” Northeast head coach Brian Alexander said. “Focus is going to be the key.”

The Lady Tigers, like the men’s squad, boast the defending MACJC Player of the Week in Angelia Allen. She continues to pour in consistent outings during her sophomore campaign and averages 12 points and 8.7 rebounds per matchup.

After a couple of games off her norm, Aushiana Ivy got back into true form last week in a pre-Thanksgiving contest at Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College. The Shannon High School graduate tallied a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards.

The Lady Indians visit Booneville on Thursday with three women in double figures, led by Jayla Chills’ 13 points per game. Sophomore Lytia Coleman spearheads their defensive front with 6.8 rebounds an outing.

Itawamba’s men have participated in a series close matchups to kick start the season. Four games have been decided by four points or less.

Alex Anderson and Johnthan McGee guide an Indians team that is tops in the MACJC in three-point percentage (43.4) and free throw percentage (74.2).

The Tigers and Itawamba split their meetings last year. Northeast won the last encounter 75-74 inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum on January 31.

Alexander is seeking the first win of his career against the school that he was an assistant at from 2006-09 before being named the headman of the Lady Tigers.
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