CLINTON --- The Holmes Community College Bulldogs placed four players in double figures in the quarterfinals of the Region XXIII Tournament to knock off MACJC champion East Mississippi Community College, 72-64.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved 16-9 overall. Holmes faces Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Region semifinals. Gulf Coast knocked off Southern University-Shreveport in the opening game of the day.
The Bulldogs jumped out early in the contest and led all the way until East Mississippi took their first lead of the game, 19-18. Holmes answered right back to secure the lead before East Mississippi took the lead at 22-20 and led 29-28 at halftime.
Holmes retook the lead early in the second half and led 40-35 with 14:10 left to play after a Jaylen Lester three pointer. East Mississippi then took a 41-40 lead with 12:27 left to play before Czar Perry hit two free throws to put Holmes up, 42-41, with 12:01 left in the game.
East Mississippi tied the game at 44 before Lester hit another three pointer with 9:55 put Holmes up 47-44. Lester hit two more three pointers to put Holmes up 53-46 with 7:20 left to play in the game.
The Lions pulled within two points at 64-62 with 2:40 left to go before the Bulldogs pulled away. Kassim Nicholson hit a three-pointer with 2:06 left to put Holmes up 67-62. Nicholson added a dunk with :48.2 left to put Holmes up 69-64 before Robert Jordan added a dunk of his own to make the score 71-64. Perry hit a late free throw to end all scoring.
Holmes outscored East Mississippi, 44-35, in the second half. Holmes' largest lead was 60-48 in the second half.
The Bulldogs shot 47.2 percent from the floor, 52.4 percent from the free throw line and 73.3 percent from the free throw line.
Lester finished with 18 points while Perry had 16, Winford Ross had 15 and Nicholson had 10. Nicholson had 12 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs.