For the first time since 2012, the Hinds Community College Bulldogs’ basketball program will be playing in the postseason.
The Bulldogs defeated the East Central Community College Warriors 73-68 Monday evening, Feb. 17, to solidify their spot in the MACJC State Tournament next week.
The Bulldogs and Warriors traded leads multiple times throughout the first half. Hinds jumped out to an 8-6 lead five minutes into the game, before ECCC went on a 14-4 run to take a 20-12 lead with 9:36 remaining in the first half.
The Bulldogs responded with a run of their own and tied the game at 34-34 to close out the first half.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Hinds went on a 16-6 scoring run to take a 50-40 lead. ECCC then responded with another run of their own, which cut Hinds lead to just five points (56-51) with less than ten minutes remaining. The Bulldogs answered right back and took a 67-59 lead with just under five minutes remaining.
“Every time we play a conference game you know it is going to be a battle,” said head coach Yusef Fitzgerald. “I thought East Central came to play tonight, but our guys stepped up and came out with a big win.”
Top performers in the game included Ladarius Marshall, who scored 21 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks, one steal and one assist. Jordan Johnson put up 14 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Kejuan Clements and Eric Stimage both made 10 points.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved their overall season record to 13-7 and their conference record to 8-5. Their 13 wins are the most regular-season wins that Hinds has had since 2013 when they had 15 overall wins. Their eight regular-season conference wins are the most in over a decade.
“This huge for our program,” Fitzgerald said.
Hinds will conclude the regular season Thursday. Feb. 20, on the road against the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs (14-7, 6-7). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Perkinston.
If Hinds defeats MGCCC this Thursday, they will secure second place in the MACJC South Division.
The MACJC State Tournament will begin on Monday, Feb. 24 and conclude with the championship games on Thursday, Feb. 27. The tournament will be hosted by East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss.
See a typo? Report it here.