PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's Daphane White made her presence known Thursday night, scoring 20 against Meridian in a 67-54 win at the Weathers-Wentzell Center.
"We've been waiting to see that," Lady Bulldogs coach Hope Adams said. "She told me on the way to the locker room, 'I'm back.' I said, halfway."
Gulf Coast (7-4, 3-1 MACJC South) kept itself in a tie for second with Copiah-Lincoln, moving ahead of Meridian (8-5, 2-2). The Lady Bulldogs are trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2013.
"That was a big win for us," Adams said. "We want to stay in the top three in the division. The girls are really excited being 3-1, and we're just trying to keep them focused. We want to make that state tournament, and I think we have a pretty good chance."
White (Fr., Gulfport/St. Martin) scored 11 of Gulf Coast's first 12 points of the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs seized control of the game, expanding a seven-point lead at the break to 30-15.
She established strong position in the paint, and her 6-foot-5 frame made an inviting target for entry passes.
"She was catching the ball and finishing around the rim," Adams said. "She was hitting her free throws. I told her we need her rebounding. When she's in the game, if anything comes off the rim it needs to be in her hands."
White was the only Lady Bulldogs player in double figures. Breannah McCullah (So., Edwards/Raymond) had eight points.
Gulf Coast returns to action against archrival Pearl River on Tuesday. Tipoff in Perkinston is at 5:30 p.m.
"I think we're playing well right now," Adams said. "We just have to come out and play the third quarter with the same intensity as we start the game. It seems like we kind of slump in the third quarter, then have to pick it back up."
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