CLINTON – A cold-shooting night ended Mississippi Gulf Coast's season Tuesday in the first round of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament. The Bulldogs were defeated 66-57 by archrival Pearl River.
"It's the shots we missed at the rim and in the paint," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "Our defense was what we thought it would be. I didn't think Pearl River could score very good, and they didn't. We missed shots and didn't get fouled. It was all on us."
Pearl River (22-4), which won the MACJC Tournament last week, used a 15-4 run midway through the first half to build a 14-point lead, but Gulf Coast cut it back to 36-30 halftime deficit.
The Bobcats pushed their lead to 59-41 with 6:22 to play, but Gulf Coast scored the next six and got within eight at 65-57 with 68 seconds left.
Despite Pearl River missing four of six free throws from there out, the Bulldogs couldn't score another bucket.
The loss ended the season for Gulf Coast, which overcame adversity to narrowly miss winning the MACJC South.
"I think this team has accomplished monumental things when you look at the grand scheme of the season," Weathers said. "When you take into account that we've lost four players to season-ending injuries, what we lost was our depth. What these kids have accomplished going 16-7 in the regular season, being one game out of first in the South, it was a monumental what they accomplished."
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