MOBILE, ALA. — For about four minutes Thursday it looked like the Wildcats were going to be in for a dogfight. The feeling quickly subsided as No. 20 Pearl River waltzed to a 103-71 victory at Bishop State.
The 103-point performance edged out PRCC's 98 points in last week's season debut. The Wildcats eclipsed 100 points four times in their MACJC championship season a year ago.
"I tell the guys no matter how good you are or how bad you are, when you go on the road it's going to be an adjustment," PRCC coach Chris Oney said. "We can't come out and try to out-shoot people on their floor. We have to come out and out play them.
"I'm just happy we kind of got it going."
The homestanding Wildcats (0-3) held an early 10-3 advantage before PRCC roared past, first taking a 13-12 lead before building a commanding 43-27 halftime advantage.
Rachal kept the good vibes going in the second half, opening the frame with a 3-pointer. With 10 minutes remaining, the Wildcats had pushed ahead 70-49 and the rout was on.
Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches-Central) and Eric Thornton Jr. (Canton; Murrah) led PRCC in scoring with 25 and 19 points respectively, while Jonas James III (Jackson; Murrah) had 11 points, Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) netted 14 and Kelvin Allen (Olive Branch) added 10.
"Neither one of them started, how about that?" Oney said of Rachal and Thornton. "After every single game we'll be talking about somebody different. That's a luxury I have and a reason why so many people think we'll have a chance to have a pretty good year."
Rachal added nine rebounds and four assists. Thornton collected four rebounds and five assists. James led PRCC with 10 assists to register his first double-double of the young campaign.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Even with the second straight offensive explosion, Oney sees plenty of work ahead for the Wildcats.
"I'm ready to get back home and watch this film," he said. "We gave up 71 points tonight, even though late in the game it got a little raggedy. We need to work on our zone defense because we have to be able to change it up. We have to get better at that, especially as we get closer to South Division play."
Thursday's contest was Bishop State's third against MACJC competition. BSCC fell to East Central and Gulf Coast prior to facing the Maroon and Gold.
The PRCC men are back in action Monday at home against William Carey's junior varsity squad. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at White Coliseum.