POPLARVILLE, Miss. — If No. 7 Pearl River was dwelling on losing the nation's longest unbeaten streak last week, the Wildcats sure didn't show it Monday.
Recharged and reenergized, PRCC routed Hinds 89-46 at Marvin R. White Coliseum, handing the Bulldogs what was easily their most lopsided loss of the season.
"I think they answered a lot of questions that a lot of people close to the program had; how would we respond?" Pearl River coach Chris Oney said.
Hinds' 46 points were 13 below the Bulldogs' previous season-low.
Virtually from the opening tip, PRCC (19-1 overall, 10-1 MACJC) left little suspense what the final outcome would be. Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) opened the night's scoring with a long 3-pointer and before long PRCC held an 11-4 advantage. Back-to-back 3-pointers by LaGarious White (Ridgeland; Brandon) extended Pearl River's advantage to 22-12 and prompted a Hinds (11-9, 4-7) timeout.
Two more 3-pointers from White and Brim closed out the first half as PRCC held a 42-22 stranglehold on the game. The Bulldogs were never much of a threat in the second half.
"Even though we lost the other night I think we're playing our best basketball," Oney said. "We're stringing really good possessions together."
MR. CHRIS AGBO
Chris Agbo (Jos, Nigeria) had his most dominant performance of the season. The 6-foot-8, 265-pound forward scored 8 of PRCC's first 13 points and finished with a career-high 20. He added eight rebounds.
"I told my assistants at lunch, after this year's over with we're going to go back and watch film and we're going to seem like some dumb coaches for not getting him the ball more," Oney joked. "Tonight it was a focal point to get the ball inside to him. We felt like on film we had a bigtime advantage with him inside — but like I just said, maybe every night we do."
Cameron Smith (Okolona) didn't quite fill up the stat sheet like Agbo, scoring two points off the bench, but the 6-foot-7 freshman did earn Oney's praise after pulling in six rebounds.
"Cam was outstanding defensively, as he was the other night. My assistants Chris Woodall and Hayden Sowers do a great job of going out and getting quality players," Oney said. "We have really good players and it makes it difficult sometimes because it's hard to get minutes. Credit to Cam, he's coming around at the right time."
Monday's performance comes on the heels of an impressive showing at Jones where the reserve sank two key free throws in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime.
LEADING THE WAY
In addition to Agbo, two other Wildcats scored in double figures. Brim hit 3 of 5 3-pointers to score 15 points. Fred Thompson also hit three 3-pointers to finish with 11 points. White wasn't far off the pace with nine points — also on three 3-pointers. Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches Central) scored eight points and led PRCC with nine rebounds. He also recorded three blocks. Brim led PRCC with seven assists.
Pearl River is back in action Thursday with a home contest against archrival Gulf Coast. Opening tip is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on PRCCAthletics.comand can be heard on WRJW 1320 AM.