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Southwest Lady Bears beat Gulf Coast

It all came down to free throws Thursday night in Perkinston as the Lady Bears defeated the host Mississippi Gulf Coast Lady Bulldogs, 66-59, for their ninth straight win.

Both teams made 20 field goals, including five from three-point range. The difference maker was free throws as the Lady Bears made 11 of 12 while Gulf Coast only attempted six and made four.

With the win, the Lady Bears moved to 12-1 on the season and, at 4-0, remained tied with Jones County atop the MACJC South.

The game was tight from the start with four ties and two lead changes in the first 4:51 of the opening quarter. Baskets from Teshia Jones and Alissa Adam gave the Lady Bears an early 4-0 lead. A Gabby Cortez jumper with 2:31 on the clock pushed the score to 20-10 and the Lady Bears held a 20-14 advantage at the end of the quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs (9-4, 1-3) pulled back to within four points, 29-25, with 3:00 to play in the second quarter. But, ending with Jones’ layup at the buzzer, the Lady Bears finished the half on a 9-2 run to take a 38-27 lead into the locker room.

The Lady Bears seemed on the verge of putting the game out of reach in the third quarter. After seeing the Lady Bulldogs draw back to within five points, 39-34, with 8:21 on the clock, the Lady Bears went on an 11-4 run, capped by Jones’ three-pointer, to go up 50-28 with 5:39 showing. However, their hosts were not ready to give up just yet, closing out the quarter on a 12-0 run to leave the Lady Bears on top 50-47 headed to the final quarter.

A three-pointer by the Lady Bulldogs’ Ka’Nosha Fairley tied the score at 50-50 with 9:15 left in the game. But, a trey and two free throws by Jones and Lillie Snowden’s jumper put the Lady Bears in front 57-50 with 5:24 to go. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to come any closer than four points the rest of the way and the Lady Bears went on to get the seven-point victory.

“This was a very nice road win,” said Lady Bears’ fourth-year head coach Brent Harris. “Teshia and Gabby (Cortez) led us offensively. We were great from the free throw line and defensively we made enough plays.”

Jones led all scorers in the game with 22 points while Cortez scored 21 points, and led the team with nine rebounds. Adam was also in double figures with 11 points while recording nine assists.

Gulf Coast was led by Markeisha Watson’s 14 points.

The L ady Bears return home for their next contest, hosting arch-rival Co-Lin on Tuesday. The South Division matchup is set for a 5:30 tip.