MGCCC men win with D

Published 2:26 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast scored 30-something points under its average Thursday night, but the Bulldogs got things done on the other end to beat Itawamba 61-56 at the Weathers-Wentzell Center.


“We just had a bad night shooting,” Gulf Coast coach Tim Ryan said. “We shot 16 percent from the 3-point line. We’re better than that; we’re not a great 3-point shooting team on the whole, but we’re better than that. What I was proud of the guys was we found another way to win. That was through our defense.”

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MGCCC (14-4, 6-3 MACCC) moved into sole possession of fourth in the conference ahead of idle Meridian. ICC is now 9-6, 3-5.


The Bulldogs held Fred Cleveland, ICC’s leading scorer, to just six points. Donovan Sanders (Fr., Lake Cormorant/Walls) drew the bulk of that defensive assignment in a Diamond-and-1 scheme. He finished with 11 points and five assists, and his driving layup broke a 52-all tie with 1:49 to play.


Gulf Coast drew up a play for Anthony Ratliff (So., Terry/Jackson), who finished a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double. It broke down, but Sanders took it to the rack.


Cleveland missed a free throw at the other end, and Melvion Flanagan (So., Peabody/Alexandria, La.) drove baseline with the shot clock running out. He saw Ratliff flash down the lane, and the dish led to a dunk


“That was a big-time pass from Melvion to find Ratliff,” Ryan said. “He didn’t try to do too much. He gave it up.”


ICC missed a shot at the other end, and Sanders found Ratliff for a run-out dunk that put the game out of reach.


Flanagan fell one point short of extending his streak of 20-point games to seven. Caleb McCarty (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) had seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks.


Gulf Coast shot 43.4 percent from the floor, but the Bulldogs held the Indians to 39 percent. The top-ranked 3-point defense in the country held ICC to 27.3 percent from the 3-point arc.


MGCCC hits the road Monday for a game at Meridian. Tipoff 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