POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River's women's basketball team played like it was on a mission Monday, racing past visiting Coastal Alabama-North 98-40 inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
The team's 58-point margin of victory was the greatest for the team under coach Scotty Fletcher's guidance, eclipsing the previous best of 42 points set last year in a 77-35 victory over Hinds.
"There were a lot of good things tonight," Fletcher said. "I thought our defensive pressure initially set the tone and allowed us to get out. We got some live ball turnovers for the first time.
"It was a bounce-back win."
Pearl River (2-1 overall) nearly held the Eagles (0-4) scoreless through the first five minutes of the contest as it built a 14-2 advantage. At one point during the run, PRCC rattled off 11 straight points that was started by a Mychala "Pooh" Linzy (Clinton) 3-pointer and punctuated by a successful and-one from the sophomore.
Included in the run was a play that's becoming a regular occurrence for the 2019-20 version of the Wildcats where Allanah Turner (Gulfport; West Harrison) stole the ball at the top of the arc and out-ran the floor for an easy lay-up.
The two teams traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter with the Wildcats holding a 25-8 advantage at the first break.
Pearl River surged out of the stoppage, claiming 14 straight points. The run included consecutive Meah Monroe (Reserve, La.; East St. John) fastbreak layups on assists from Turner and back-to-back 3-pointers from Maliyah Bullard (Pass Christian) and Jakia Harper (Jackson; Provine).
Once again, the Eagles didn't score for nearly five minutes, as PRCC built a 39-9 lead. Coastal Alabama-North didn't hit double digits until the 3:35 mark of the second quarter.
By halftime, Pearl River had built a 55-18 lead and the rout was in full swing.
"When you make shots, that takes your rhythm to another level," Fletcher said. "I tell the girls all the time, don't let your shot making and shot missing determine how hard we play, but tonight I thought we made shots and that carried over.
"Our bench energy was really good."
Turner earned her first double-double of her collegiate career, scoring 10 points with 11 rebounds.
Bullard and Linzy finished the night with 17 and 14 points respectively to lead PRCC. Otashae Burrage (Carthage; Leake County) added 12.
Chardeidra "Smalls" Madison (Hahnville, La.) came off the bench to lead the Wildcats with 10 rebounds. Brianna Holmes (Mendenhall) added nine.
"I feel like everybody bought into the scouting report, to what the coaches were saying," said Adia Rogers (Milwaukee, Wisc.; School of Language), who scored four points with six rebounds. "I feel like all of our hard work came out. Everything's coming together."
The Wildcats return to the court Monday for a 4 p.m. tip against East Mississippi as the opening game in the Wildcat Classic at Marvin R. White Coliseum.
East Mississippi's men and LSU-Eunice will play at 6 p.m. with No. 11 Pearl River facing off against Baton Rouge at 8 p.m.
On Nov. 19, BRCC and EMCC will play at 5:30 p.m., while the Pearl River men and LSU-Eunice play at 7:30 p.m.
All home games will be livestreamed on PRCCMedia.com/gold and can be heard on WRJW 1320 AM or by tuning into the WRJW app.