Pearl River gets back in the win column with 60-49 victory over rival Gulf Coast

Published 4:10 pm Friday, January 20, 2023

POPLARVILLE, Miss. – The Pearl River men’s basketball team (11-4; 2-2 MACCC) got back into the win column with a 60-49 victory over visiting rival Mississippi Gulf Coast (7-10; 1-4) in front of a raucous crowd in Marvin R. White Coliseum.

“I realized that I was thinking too much about the guys from the old teams, and I had to get back to coaching this team,” PRCC coach Chris Oney said of his mindset heading into tonight’s game. “I think tonight we did a great job of slowing the game down and taking advantage of mismatches. We were able to take it back to the old way of winning. I thought this kind of win was needed, and this is how we are going to have to play moving forward.”



The Wildcats opened the game with a six-point run with baskets by Cam Brown (Hattiesburg), Ayub Nurhussein (Hamilton, Ontario; Toronto Basketball Academy) and Carlous Wiliams (Hattiesburg; Harrison Central). A 3-pointer by Jermahri Hill (Bessemer, Ala.; Berkmar) extended the Wildcat lead to 9-2. Hill added another basket with a great layup to bring the lead to eight, 11-3.

Brown gave the Wildcats a 17-9 lead on a layup off a pass by Hill. The Bulldogs cut the Wildcat lead to 18-12, but the defensive efforts of Caleb Rawls (Columbia; East Marion) stopped Gulf Coast from gaining momentum. On consecutive plays, Rawls blocked a Bulldog 3-point attempt and recovered a loose ball. On the ensuing Wildcat possession, Ty Moore (Grenada) found a cutting Brown for the layup that gave the Wildcats a 20-12 advantage. Brown scored the last two baskets for the Wildcats and PRCC entered the half with a 24-21 lead.



The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the second half, 24-23. Williams put the Wildcats on his shoulders on the next three possessions. He hit a turnaround jumper, had a putback in the paint and hit a midrange jumper that helped keep the Bulldogs at bay and kept the lead at four, 30-26.

After a three-point run gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the night, 32-30, the Wildcat defense stepped up to turn the momentum in their favor. Nurhussein blocked a Bulldog attempt in the paint, and Kylan Baggett (Starkville) drew a charge on a Gulf Coast fast break.

Hill took advantage on the next Wildcat possession to hit a 3-pointer from the corner and give PRCC the lead again, 33-32.

After trading baskets to tie the game, 35-35, the Wildcats went on a nine-point run to give PRCC a 44-35 lead. During the run, Brown had two 3-pointers, and Nurhussein hit a third off an acrobatic by Moore, who collected the assist. After a Bulldog score cut the Wildcat lead to two, 44-37, the Wildcats went on an eight-point run. Hill highlighted the run with an athletic layup as he cut past his defender and scored over another Bulldog in the paint to bring the PRCC lead to 15, 52-37.

Gulf Coast started to press the Wildcats late in the second half and cut the lead to eight, 57-49, with 39 seconds remaining in the game. The Wildcats closed out the scoring with free throws by Hill and Nurhussein to give PRCC the 60-49 victory.



The Wildcats had three players record double-doubles. Brown led all players with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

“He does everything we ask for as far as competing,” Oney said of Brown. “I told him, ‘you have to find a way to have fun. On offense, you haven’t been Cam Brown; you have to find a way to get into double figures.’”

Williams added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Nurhussein contributed 10 points and 10 boards.



The Wildcats return to the court on Monday when they travel to Senatobia to take on the Northwest Rangers. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.


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