PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast used a strong eight minutes coming out of the halftime locker room to create a cushion and beat the William Carey JV 95-87 in the Bulldogs' season opener.
Gulf Coast turned up its defensive pressure and erased its only deficit of the game after the Crusaders scored the first bucket after halftime to go up 47-45. The Bulldogs used a 22-10 run to create a 10-point bulge, using full-court pressure falling back into a 1-3-1 defense.
"That defense, if you're not ready for it, can catch you off guard because we're long," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "It's not something you see every day. Hopefully, we won't have to use that lot, but we went from a couple points up to 10 or 12 up."
Dedoch Chan (Fr, Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) had 26 points to lead the Bulldogs.
"He's really, really good around the basket," Weathers said. "He's really good around the perimeter when he has an opportunity. He knows where his strengths are and plays to them."
Despite scoring a bushel of points, the Bulldogs have a lot of room for improvement on the offensive end of the floor.
"We've got to get way more efficient with our offense," Weathers said. "We're out of sync with that. It's early, but we should be better than what we are. We didn't play so well and still won, so that's better than losing."
Gulf Coast had a couple of 10-point first-half leads they all but surrendered, then Carey ended the half on a 9-0 run to tie it up.
"I'm pleased we won," Weathers said. "The kids played hard. We're just playing a lot of inexperienced guys who have to learn to manage the game. If we ever stop turning the ball over, we're going to be OK."
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