PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast erased its slowest start of the season Thursday with a huge run, then finished a season sweep of Southwest with a 68-60 win Thursday to clinch a postseason berth.
"We were down 9-0 nothing, but it was nine points we gave up in six minutes," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "Our defense was good then, we just didn't do anything on offense. Once we got our offense rolling, everything just kind of fell into place."
The Bulldogs ripped off a 16-0 run over the next 5:27 to surge into the lead and held a potent Bears offense to just 19 in the first 20 minutes.
Four Gulf Coast players finished in double digits, led by Dillyn Neely (Fr., Biloxi/Biloxi) and Willie Logan (So., Brookhaven/Northwest Rankin) with 13 each. Tafari Simms (Fr., Hamilton, Ontario/Lincoln Prep) had 11, and DaJuan Moorer added 10.
Gulf Coast (16-3, 7-2 MACJC South) moved a game closer to the top of the division after Jones beat Pearl River later in the evening. Those two teams are tied for first with one loss each.
The Bulldogs clinched a spot in the MACJC Tournament for the 21st straight season. The next-longest streak in the state is Northeast, whose run will reach five this season.
Gulf Coast led by as many as 15 before heading to the locker room at halftime up 32-19. Southwest would trim its deficit to five with 6:31 left, but the Bulldogs went on a 10-3 run to open some space and put the game away.
"I thought we played really well tonight," Weathers said. "I thought our defense was rock solid almost the entire time. We did not get sped up. Our offense was under control and we got to where we wanted to be. We made shots. It was a good game for us."
Gulf Coast returns to action Monday with a trip to Meridian. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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