February 1, 2016
With the end of the season right around the corner, it is time to take a minute and reflect on what the basketball team has presented to Mississippi College and their opponents so far. Even though the men’s and women’s team have a negative overall score, the sportsmanship of both teams has given fans reason to enjoy their games.
A great example of this happened at the Choctaws’ last game, when the men’s team faced the Tigers from West Alabama (10-9, 6-7 GSC). In the first quarter, the Choctaws were trailing by 14 points and in a real demonstration of perseverance and determination, they turned the game around and finished 69-57. Tory Rice finished the game with the most points scored with 20, while making 7 out of 8 field goals. Johnny Rucker came in second with 18 points scored. Additionally, the Lady Choctaws, who also played against the Tigers (6-11, 3-10 GSC), fought just as bravely, but ended up losing the game 63-52.
The Choctaws now have an overall record of 6-9, 5-8 GSC, while the Lady Choctaws hold a 5-11, 3-10 GSC record.
The past week was a special week for basketball because both the male and female athletes nominated to the Wright and Ferguson Player of the Week are basketball players. Seniors Tory Rice and Khadijah Jones were the chosen players of the week.
Rice and Jones are currently playing their last season for MC and trying to enjoy it until the last game. About being nominated the player of the week, Rice said “My feelings toward being named Wright and Ferguson Athlete of the Week was quite surprising. I didn’t expect to be nominated at all. That award could have gone to [any] one of my teammates, but to me, it’s an honor.” Jones’ feelings were not so different. “I was much honored to be nominated Wright and Ferguson Player of the Week. I am truly blessed, and with God all things are possible, so I will continue to be a team player and stay humble,” she said.
Jones will put on her basketball uniform only seven more times as a Lady Choctaw. Despite the record, the Lady Choctaws continue to fight for their team. “This season is not going as well as we planned, but regardless of the outcome, we will continue to play hard every game,” Jones said. “This is my last season, and as it comes to an end, I have realized even as a senior that I learn more and more every day, not just about basketball but life,” she sad.
Rice has less than a month before he plays his final game in A.E. Wood Coliseum. “My thoughts on this season are simple. We are a good team, but our record does not show it. We compete each and every day to get where our record should be. With each and every one pushing each other, then we would eventually get there. Since this is my last season I would like to compete for a championship and prove everyone that doubted us wrong,” he said. “As the season begins to wrap up, my expectations are to still try and be around basketball as much as I can, either playing professional somewhere or just watching it,” he concluded.
The men’s and women’s basketball team have five remaining home games this season. The Choctaws will face Gulf South Conference foes including Valdosta State, West Florida, Lee, Shorter, and Delta State.
-Marcelo Maziero, Contributing Writer
this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian