Mississippi Gulf Coast pushed its season-opening win streak to 12 games Thursday night with its first road MACJC South victory. The Bulldogs beat Meridian 63-61 thanks to a big night by D'yasmond Booker.
Booker, a freshman from Pascagoula, finished with 17 points to lead the squad, but there were a lot of hands chipping in.
"Book played well and made some plays," Gulf Coast coach Jason Harrison said. "We had 10 guys got in the scorebook, so that was a big help. But we've got to get better for next Tuesday."
Gulf Coast led 29-25 at halftime and would be up by as many as 10 in the second half, but could never apply the knockout run to the Eagles (5-8, 0-4).
Meridian had two free throws with 35 seconds trailing 62-61, but missed them both. The Bulldogs would turn the ball over after breaking the press, but their 1-3-1 half-court trap proved too much for the Eagles. Colby Cooke (So., Laurel/Laurel) rebounded a miss with 2.2 seconds left to ice it.
"We played like a team that is very young," Harrison said. "We've got to learn how to close games out. We've hadn't been on the road in a while, so it was a different environment and Meridian played well."
Gulf Coast has an extra day to get ready for its toughest test of the season. The Bulldogs travel the 26 miles to Poplarville on Tuesday to take on No. 5 Pearl River, a day later than normal because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.
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