Defense sparks Bulldogs in 2nd half
Published 2:18 pm Friday, January 21, 2022
PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast pulled away from East Central in the second half Thursday night. As usual, playing better defense helps.
That’s what Bulldogs coach Tim Ryan talked about in the locker room at halftime and his team responded for a 92-75 victory.
“We were scoring, so the message was we’re better than that defensively,” he said. “We’re weren’t doing it in the first half, and there wasn’t an urgency. If we wanted to win this game, we needed that urgency to get stops.”
Gulf Coast (12-4, 4-3 MACCC) held the Warriors to 35.5 percent shooting from the floor after the break. The Bulldogs gradually expanded a three-point halftime lead to as many as 19.
Melvion Flanagan (So., Peabody/Alexandria, La.) cracked the 20-point barrier for the fifth straight game and finished with 23 and four assists. Carr Thiam (So., Wharton/Tampa, Fla.) shot 4-for-7 from the 3-point arc to finish with 19 points.
Anthony Ratliff (So., Terry/Jackson) finished with 16 points, and Donovan Sanders (Fr., Lake Cormorant/Walls) had 10. Gulf Coast outrebounded East Central 45-35. The Bulldogs had 16 offensive rebounds leading to 21 second-chance points.
They led by eight early, but the Warriors (4-8, 2-4) clawed back to 44-41 at halftime.
“They stifled us for a while with that zone in the first half. We weren’t getting the shots we wanted. We originally attacking it pretty good, but then got out of it.”
For more information on MGCCC’s 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook and go to mgcccbulldogs.com. Dontavius Proby (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) came off the bench, and his second-half energy sparked the Bulldogs. He finished with six points, three assists and three steals.
“Defensively, he was just a pest,” Ryan said. “Offensively, I thought he ran our offense really well.”
Gulf Coast hits the road Monday to play at Hinds. Tipoff in Utica is set for 6 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.