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Choctaws take down West Florida

CHOCTAWS MEDIA / Mississippi College's Jay Case (10) nails a three-point shot over a West Florida defender Thursday afternoon at A.E. Wood Coliseum.

CHOCTAWS MEDIA / Mississippi College’s Jay Case (10) nails a three-point shot over a West Florida defender Thursday afternoon at A.E. Wood Coliseum.

CLINTON — The Mississippi College men’s basketball team won their first Gulf South Conference game since the 1995-96 season with a 78-60 victory over the University of West Florida on Thursday afternoon at A.E. Wood Coliseum.

The Choctaws (3-4, 1-4 GSC), who are currently in their second year of transition back to Division II and the GSC, forced 28 turnovers, scoring 30 points off Argonaut (5-6, 1-4 GSC) giveaways. MC had 19 steals in the game, led by senior Rayner Fredrick with five takeaways.

Junior Tory Rice recorded his fourth double-double of the season with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Itawamba CC transfer was 4-of-8 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. As a unit, MC went 15-of-17 from the free throw line, making them 30-of-33 (91%) over the last two games.

Senior Jay Case was 4-of-6 from the three-point line, scoring a season-high 17 points, while junior Johnny Rucker went 3-of-6 from long range, scoring 16 points with four steals. As a team, MC was 7-of-16 from the three-point line, marking the 441st straight game MC has nailed a long ball.

The Choctaws trailed 6-2 in the opening minutes but when Rice made two free throws with 15:26 left in the first half, MC would take a 9-8 lead and not trail the rest of the way. The Choctaws took a 37-30 lead into halftime, and while the Argonauts cut the lead to five points twice, MC would pull away for the win, snapping a four-game losing streak on the year.

Lendward Griffin led the Argos with 11 points, while Jason Laatsch had a team-high five rebounds.

The Choctaws will be back in action on Saturday when they host Valdosta State at 4:00 p.m. in A.E. Wood Coliseum.

By Mississippi College Media Relations