A pair of Copiah-Lincoln free throws with 0.4 seconds left sunk Mississippi Gulf Coast, with the Bulldogs falling 68-67 at the Weathers/Wentzell Center.
Keevon Oney (Fr, Gulfport/Gulfport) sank a bucket with 3.4 seconds left to give Gulf Coast a one-point lead, but Co-Lin’s Jonathan Floyd hustled the ball up the sideline and drew a foul near halfcourt.
“Our kids played well. They played hard,” Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. “I thought our defense was solid for the most part. The two things that hurt us were our missed free throws and we gave them a number of offensive rebounds.”
Gulf Coast (8-3, 1-1 MACJC South) had a double-digit rebounds margin but allowed 24 offensive rebounds by the Wolves (10-1, 1-1). The Bulldogs had 49 rebounds to Co-Lin’s 38.
Dedoch Chan (Fr, Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) led MGCCC with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Abdul Dial (So, West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) also had 14 points, and LaRaymond Spivery (Fr, Lucedale/George County) added 11 points and five assists.
There were 14 lead changes in the game, with the last two coming in the final four seconds. Gulf Coast called timeout late, setting up their go-ahead basket.
“I thought they would stay man, but they went zone,” Weathers said. “We were prepared for that. I don’t know if we executed it perfect, but we talked about that guy screening would be open. We did what we needed to do.”
Oney buried a jumper from a step inside the top of the key to make it 67-66. He and another Bulldog had Floyd pinched off at the sideline when the whistle went off.
“We just got in the way of a kid dribbling the ball,” Weathers said. “He didn’t foul the kid on purpose. I don’t know if he fouled him or not, but you just can’t foul him there. He’s not going to make that shot. It’s kind of like a Hail Mary.”
Gulf Coast dialed down their season-long tendency to turn the ball over with only 14, matching its season low. The made only 5 of 13 free throws in the first half, and despite making 9-of-10 after halftime, managed only 60.9 percent for the game.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday at East Central in a game scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Their next home game is Jan. 18 when Meridian visits Perkinston.
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