Simmons (Fr., Brandon/Brandon) had 14 points, and Howard (So., Richland/Richland) had 12
"They both showed up tonight," Gulf Coast coach Hope Adams said. "We talked to AZ about being aggressive. She came out and was fully engaged. She was very aggressive, and I told her she dominated the paint tonight."
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 8-6 overall and finished the first half of the MACJC South schedule 4-3. They're tied for third in the division with Copiah-Lincoln and East Central, one game back of Pearl River.
Gulf Coast pulled out to a 30-19 at halftime, and Hinds (5-10, 0-7) trimmed it to five points in the first four minutes of the third quarter. The Lady Bulldogs held steady, though, and scored the last seven points of the quarter to lead by 15.
Breannah McCullah (So., Edwards/Raymond) had a steal and made two free throws with 7.7 seconds left before Briana Thompson (So., Jackson/Wingfield) picked another pocket and made one of her two free throws to stick the final dagger in Hinds.
"I'm happy to get the W tonight, for sure," Adams said. "I thought we played well in spurts. We're surviving without our point guard, but I told them to take it one game at a time. We want to get into the state tournament, and hopefully, we'll get her back."
Gulf Coast travels to Decatur on Thursday to take on East Central. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs won the first meeting 78-69 before Christmas.
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