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Hot-shooting Lady Commodores crush Central Florida

Posted Mar 8, 2017 at 9:08 PM

By Dustin Kent, The News Herald

 

OCALA — When Gulf Coast and College of Central Florida first met Nov. 18 in Niceville, the Lady Commodores won despite one of their worst shooting performances of the season. In the rematch Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the FCSAA State Basketball Championships, they won again on the strength of one of their very best.

 

Gulf Coast made 15 3-pointers, including 12 in the first half, to breeze by College of Central Florida 90-51. With the win, the Lady Commodores (28-2) advance to Friday's semifinal round to face Tallahassee at 2 p.m. CST.

 

Taylor Emery scored 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting from the field and 5 of 7 from the 3-point line to lead Gulf Coast, while Shayla Bennett had 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting and 5 of 10 from three. LaSonja Edwards added 14 points and seven rebounds, with Maria Castro adding 12 points and seven rebounds while making 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

 

The Lady Commodores hit 15 of 34 from deep for the game, including 12 of 24 during an explosive first half sparked by a red-hot start from Emery, who scored the first 13 points of the game for Gulf Coast.

 

Emery opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from the left wing on the first possession of the game, then knocked in a pull-up jumper from the right baseline moments later. Two more threes from Emery made it 11-4, with a short jumper following to put the Lady Commodores up 13-4 with 6:54 left in the first quarter.

 

It was 27-11 after one quarter and the margin remained 16 points at 35-19 with 5:44 left in the second quarter when Gulf Coast used a 12-0 run to blow the game open. A basket inside by Edwards was followed by back-to-back threes from Bennett and Castro to make it 43-19.

 

Edwards added two more buckets, the first on a 10-footer in the lane and the second on a reverse layup, to give the Lady Commodores a 47-19 advantage with 3:14 on the clock. It was 55-29 at the halftime break and the onslaught continued in the second half.

 

Leading 60-39, the Lady Commodores embarked on a 22-0 run to put an exclamation point on the victory. Shaterrika O'Neal started the spurt with a baseline jumper, with a three-point play by Edwards and consecutive threes from Castro and Bennett making it 71-39 with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter.

 

Bennett scored again with a transition layup, with another layup by Raven Fox after a steal by Ty Purifoy, two free throws from Jhaleiya Dunlap, a basket inside by Emery, and a three-point play by Dunlap capping the run to make it 82-39 with 8:45 to play.

 

CENTRAL FLORIDA (51)

Brooks 0 0-0 0, de Leon 6 0-0 16, Daniels 0 0-0 0, Jarque 0 0-0 0, Mallory 0 0-0 0, Matthews 3 2-2 9, Mack 1 1-2 3, Jones 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Mills-Spenceley 0 0-0 0, dos Santos 4 0-0 9, Melosky 6 0-0 14. Totals: 20 3-4 51.

GULF COAST (90)

Green 1 0-0 3, Fox 2 0-0 5, Purifoy 1 1-2 3, Emery 9 0-0 23, O'Neal 1 0-0 2, Bennett 8 0-2 21, Castro 3 3-4 12, Dunlap 2 3-3 7, Edwards 6 2-4 14, Bell 0 0-0 0, Rushin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 37 9-15 90.

 

Central Florida 11 18 10 12 — 51

Gulf Coast 27 28 24 11 — 90

3-point field goals: Gulf Coast 15 (Emery 5, Bennett 5, Castro 3, Green, Fox), Central Florida 8 (de Leon 4, Melosky 2, Matthews, dos Santos). Total fouls: Central Florida 18, Gulf Coast 12. Fouled out: Matthews. Technical fouls: none.

 

 

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