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Gulf Coast edges No. 3 Indian Hills, moves to 5-0

The Gulf Coast men’s basketball team was still unranked in this week’s NJCAA top 25 poll following a home win over No. 15 Daytona State.

It will be hard to keep the Commodores out of the national poll after they knocked off No. 3 Indian Hills on Thursday night in Niceville.

Gulf Coast won 61-60 to improve to 5-0 on the season and can make it six wins in a row to start the season against East Mississippi on Friday night.

Jacolbey Owens scored 14 points to lead the Commodores, followed by Maurice Gordon with 10 points, Jammy Pierre-Louis with eight points, and KK Godwin with seven.

Top scorer Cam Holden was held to just four points and the Commodores made just 4 of 14 from the free throw line.

“If you had told me that Cam Holden would only score four points and we’d go 4 for 14 from the line and beat the No. 3 team in the country I would’ve told you you’re crazy,” Gulf Coast coach Phil Gaffney said after the game. “Everyone just really stepped up and defended. We pressed them and really rattled them with our pressure. They had a hard time getting into anything offensively.

“It was a good win and a good way to get ourselves nationally ranked. I don’t know how we don’t get ranked higher than (Indian Hills) after this.”

JD Muila led Indian Hills (6-1) with 12 points and seven rebounds, followed by Tyron Grant-Foster with 11 points. Chris Payton had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Gulf Coast led nearly the entire way, taking a 32-25 lead at halftime and holding off a late Indian Hills charge.

The Warriors had the ball with 17 seconds left and a chance to take the lead, but a shot by Chris Childs rimmed off and the Commodores were able to run the clock out.

It wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty, with the teams combining for 37 turnovers and 11 of 43 shooting from behind the arc, not to mention just six made free throws in 19 attempts.

But Gaffney said the officiating made for a more rough-and-tumble style of play, which suited the Commodores just fine.

“The referees were calling it like a Division-I or NBA game,” Gaffney said. “It was very physical, which (the Warriors) love. But we love it because we’re out there running and pressing and being physical, too, so we didn’t mind it at all. We were very happy that they put the whistles in their pockets.”

 

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