MS Gulf Coast sweeps Co-Lin

Published 11:29 am Friday, December 6, 2013

PERKINSTON – The road was unkind to the Copiah-Lincoln basketball teams on Thursday night as the Wolves were swept in the opening night of South Division play in the MACJC. The Co-Lin women fell 63-58 to the Lady Bulldogs and the Co-Lin men went down 76-70 to the Bulldogs.

Lady Bulldogs 63, Lady Wolves 58 

The Lady Wolves (4-3, 0-1) played from behind for most of the night as they struggled against a bigger Gulf Coast (4-5, 1-0) team. Co-Lin was without the services of their second leading scorer and leading rebounder, sophomore forward Jessica Wilson. With Wilson out with an injury it was easy pickings on the interior for the Lady Bulldogs. Freshman Christa Owens, a 6-foot-1 post player, posted nine points and seven rebounds for Gulf Coast.

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An extremely cold night from the free throw line and 3-point line also hurt any chances of a Co-Lin victory. The Lady Wolves shot 9-for-25 from the free throw line and 1-for-18 from the 3-point line on the night.

Coach Gwyn Young knows his team will have a hard time beating anyone when they shoot like that. “We got to find people who are going to step up and make a free throw,” Young said. “You aren’t going to beat anybody shooting 9-25 on free throws and 1-18 from three.”

Even with the offensive struggles, a frantic run at the end of the game put the Lady Wolves in position to possibly squeak out the win. Freshman guard Tyra Gibson made a free throw to tie the game at 58 with 43 seconds remaining. Gulf Coast would quickly answer with a score and a Co-Lin turnover would prevent the Lady Wolves from getting another attempt at tying.

Gibson led the Lady Wolves with 18 points. Claresa Banks added 11 points for the Lady Wolves. Samara Dingisway led Gulf Coast with 11 points.

Bulldogs 76, Wolfpack 70 

The Wolves (2-5, 0-1) had a great opportunity to pick up their first road win of the season when they used a 22-point swing to seize momentum and control of the game late in the second half. The Wolves, who led 8-0 to open the game, trailed 33-28 at halftime. Gulf Coast (6-2, 1-0) would come out to start the second half with a run that would eventually push their lead to 14. That is the point that Co-Lin leading scorer Chris Steverson would help shoot the Wolves back into the game. Over the next 10 minutes Co-Lin would go from being down 14 to being up by eight.

The final four minutes would prove to be the undoing for Co-Lin as the Wolves struggled to make plays to match Gulf Coast.

“We’ve got to execute when we are up late in a game like this,” said Co-Lin head coach Kenny Bizot. “I’m proud of how hard my guys fought, but we’ve got to believe we are going to win a game like this and then go out and execute to make it happen.”

Co-Lin trailed 73-70 with 13 seconds left and had the ball coming out of a timeout with an opportunity to get off a tying shot. A five second violation would give the ball back to Gulf Coast and allow the Bulldogs to ice the game from the free throw line.

Steverson led Co-Lin with 26 points. Michael Vardaman chipped in 10 points for Co-Lin. Gulf Coast was led by 24 from Roger Woods and 22 from Chris Bilbo.

Co-Lin returns to MACJC South Division play on Monday, Nov. 9, when they host Jones County. The women tip off at 6 p.m. with the men’s game to follow. Listen live at or on WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven.