PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast built a big early lead Monday against Hinds and rode it all the way to an 85-78 victory at the Weathers/Wentzell Center.
The Bulldogs won the MACJC South Division opener after opening a 38-15 lead in the first 14 minutes.
"At the end of the day, we did what we needed to do," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "I told them, I thought we played good but not great. That's a good team, a sophomore bunch. That extra year makes a heckuva difference."
Zach Parker (6-2, 185, So., Biloxi/Biloxi) led a balanced scoring with 18 points, and Tedrian Brisco (6-5, 195, So., Porter's Chapel/Vicksburg) and Davion Cole-Johnson (6-4, 210, So., Pike/Glen Ellyn, Ill.) contributed 17 each.
Five different Bulldogs scored the team's first 10 points. Parker buried a 3-pointer from the left corner, then converted a steal into a dunk to spark a 16-0 run starting with 13 minutes left in the half.
Gulf Coast (7-1) went into the half up 50-35, with Qua'darius Green (6-8, 180, Fr., McComb/McComb) scoring seven of his nine points in the first 20 minutes.
Hinds (6-2) chipped away in the second half getting its deficit down to six on a couple of occasions. Green's baseline jumper with 4:09 left pushed it back to 8, and Winston Morgan (5-10, 170, So., East Catholic/Manchester, Conn.) converted a pair of free throws and Cole-Johnson added another to make it comfortable again.
"We're 1-0 in conference," Weathers said, "and that's where we need to be."
Gulf Coast returns to action Wednesday when the Bulldogs travel to New Orleans to play Delgado. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
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