PERKINSTON — Lights-out first-half shooting helped Mississippi Gulf Coast build and early lead, and the Bulldogs coasted to an 81-71 victory over Meridian on Monday night.
Harvey Smart (6-3, 167, So., West Harrison/Gulfport) finished with 17.
"Those kids that shoot those 3s and make them, can do that," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "They do it every day in practice as long as we're taking good shots. They had good shots tonight."
The Bulldogs (16-4, 8-3 MACJC South) pulled into a second-place tie with Southwest in the division. They are two games back of No. 10 Jones County, which visits Perkinston on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Meridian falls to 1-16, 0-10.
Gulf Coast, which has already clinched a spot in the Region 23 Tournament, can sew up a spot in the MACJC playoffs with one more victory in the last three games or any Pearl River loss.
Gulf Coast's had a stretch where seven straight made baskets in the first half Monday were 3-pointers, and it helped the Bulldogs build a 32-9 lead with 7:11 left. Morgan had four, and Smart had the others during the six-minute stretch.
"We were just playing together," Morgan said. "When we're playing as a team, shots go in."
Parker heated up in the second half with three of his own.
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