The Enterprise State Boll Weevils picked up their first win of the 2021-2022 season on Nov. 22 by a score of 89-87 on the road over Southern Union.

ESCC trailed by double digits multiple times against Southern Union, including 47-37 at halftime, but managed to claw its way back into the game and outscore them 52-40 in the second half.

“We got down by 10 at the half and came back after halftime and fought back and tied the game back up,” ESCC coach Jeremaine Williams said. “Then Southern Union started to pull away again with an 11-0 run but we fought back again and in the last two or three minutes took a lead.”

After taking an 85-84 lead in the final minutes, Southern Union managed to hit a layup and a free throw to take an 87-86 lead with under 30 seconds left. With just five seconds remaining, ESCC’s Jalen Gaston drove hard to the basket and connected on a shot along with drawing a foul. Gaston sank the free throw to secure a much-needed win.

“We played sloppy all night but our guys still fought and got us back into it,” Williams said. “We put the ball in Jalen Gaston’s hands with five seconds left and he managed to hit the shot and the and-1 to win the ball game.”

Gaston had a big night with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Abbeville’s Jaquan Kinsey earned 21 points and 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Slocomb native Brydon Whitaker added 17 points off the bench, as well.

“We had a lot of guys that stepped up that haven’t played much so far,” Williams said. “We had three guys out so I told them before the game, ‘The game plan was for offense to win us the game. You guys on the bench have to pay attention to what the other team is doing because when you get in you need to do know what to do.’

“They did a great job. Kobe Fuller hit two big three pointers for us and Brydon Whitaker did some big things for us. He and Hayes Floyd got some big rebounds, too. It was a big team effort. We did a great job and they fought back and beat a tough Southern Union team.”

The win over Southern Union came off the heels of a disappointing 87-84 overtime loss to Lawson State on Nov. 18. After leading Lawson State 44-40 at halftime, Lawson State came back to outscore ESCC 32-28 in the second half to force overtime. In the overtime period, Lawson State managed to outscore the Weevils 15-12 to secure the win.

Gaston led ESCC against Lawson State with 25 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, while Kinsey added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tiquale Taylor chipped in with 17 points in the loss.

The Lady Boll Weevils also dropped a tough 93-74 loss to Southern Union on Nov. 22. Jesslyn Culverhouse led ESCC with 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

“The biggest thing right now is we have a couple of girls with nagging injuries,” Williams said of the Lady Weevils. “We just have to get healthy right now. When we get some of those injuries down I think we will be okay.

“Southern Union did a good job of beating us in transition and we didn’t score much on the offensive end at all. We really struggled on offense. We have to back to the drawing board and get some things figured out and we have our hands full coming up with Shelton State.”

Both the men and the women will have their hands full as the always tough Shelton State Buccaneers will come to ESCC this Thursday, Dec. 2. Both the men’s and women’s teams are currently sitting at 5-1 and the Lady Bucs are considered one of the top junior college programs in the country.

The Lady Bucs are currently ranked No. 9 in the entire country and are coming off back-to-back near 100-point victories. That is not a typo, Shelton State defeated its last two opponents – Coastal Alabama-South and LBW – by nearly 100 points each. The Lady Bucs defeated Coastal Alabama-South 111-16 on Nov. 18 and knocked off LBW 123-33 on Nov. 22. This will be the first time the Lady Bucs have played at ESCC in seven years. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the men begin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2.

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