PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast picked up its first MACJC South win since the 2016-17 finale after the Lady Bulldogs downed East Central 78-69 Monday.
"That feels great," Gulf Coast coach Hope Adams said. "It's our very first conference win. We had a game plan, and the girls executed it. I'm very proud of them. They believed we were going to win, and we did."
Kayla Simmons (Fr., Brandon/Brandon) had 21 points to lead Gulf Coast. Allison Martin had eight of her 12 points in the third quarter, and Azaria Howard (So., Richland/Richland) and Breannah McCullah (So., Edwards/Raymond) added 10 each.
Gulf Coast (3-3) handed the Lady Warriors (6-1) their first loss of the season. The Lady Bulldogs' last South win came on Feb. 23, 2017, when they beat Southwest 54-39.
MGCCC used a 13-2 run in the first quarter to surge to a 17-12 lead with 2:30 left and never trailed again. A 3-pointer by Nakendra Owens (Fr., Port Gibson/Port Gibson) gave the Lady Bulldogs their first advantage.
East Central got as close as four in the third quarter, but an 11-6 run helped propel the Lady Bulldogs to a 54-45 advantage at the final break.
The Lady Warriors got it down to four in the fourth quarter, before Gulf Coast pushed to its biggest lead, 72-59 with 1:55 to play. Simmons had a layup and made the foul shot to put an exclamation mark on the spurt.
"Kayla was really good tonight.," Adams said. "I'm proud of her. That freshman group is really gritty. The more reps we get, the better we'll be."
It was only Simmons' second game of the season after a pre-season injury. She had 17 points and 18 rebounds in her first outing.
Gulf Coast returns to action Wednesday when Delgado visits. Tipoff at the Weather-Wentzell Center is set for 5:30 p.m.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.