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Lady Commodores win big, move to 14-0

By Dustin Kent747-5065 | @PCNHDustinKentdkent@pcnh.com

Dec. 16, 2016

 

PANAMA CITY - Another day, another lopsided home victory for the Gulf Coast women. The top-ranked Lady Commodores cruised past Arkansas Baptist Friday afternoon at the Billy Harrison Field House, taking a 93-67 win to move to 14-0 on the season.

 

Shaterrika O'Neal led a balanced Gulf Coast attack with 17 points, with Jhaleiya Dunlap adding 16 points, Raven Fox 14, Shayla Bennett 10, Fatou Diagne nine, and Maria Castro eight. Essence Johnson had 22 points to lead Arkansas Baptist (1-13).

 

The Lady Commodores led from start to finish, jumping out to leads of 16 and 24 at the end of the first and second quarters and never being seriously challenged despite an uneven third quarter effort.

 

"It was a little bit sloppy and the defense was not very good," Gulf Coast coach Roonie Scovel said. "But offensively we put up some points and we had some diverse scoring and scored a little bit differently than we did (in Thursday's 117-84 win over Bossier Parish)."

 

O'Neal set the tone early for the Lady Commodores with 10 points in the first quarter, attacking the paint off the dribble and scoring twice after coming up with steals on defense. A steal by LaSonja Edwards leading to a bucket by O'Neal put GC up 12 late in the quarter, with a driving basket by Bennett and a putback by Castro making it 26-10.

 

An offensive rebound and putback by Diagne, a corner 3-pointer by Janesha Green, and a driving bucket by O'Neal put the Lady Commodores up 20 at 37-17 with 5:47 to half. Gulf Coast continued to build on the lead with defense leading to transition, as Fox scored on a basket after a turnover and then passed ahead to Dunlap for a transition two to make it 48-22 with three minutes to half.

 

Gulf Coast led by 26 after a quick jumper by Taylor Emery to start the third quarter, but Arkansas Baptist answered by scoring nine straight points, the last on a basket inside by Erin Meeks, to make it 51-34.

 

The Lady Commodores got some separation with baskets by Diagne and Fox and a short jumper by Bennett to increase the lead to 63-39 late in the third. GC put the game away for good with an 11-0 run in the fourth featuring a jumper by Bennett, two free throws by Dunlap, two baskets by O'Neal, and a three from Bennett to make it 87-55 with 4:58 remaining.

 

"I think we came back out (of the half) and had to wake up and realize they didn't give up and things came a little too easy in the first half,"

Scovel said. "But we have another game tomorrow and that was maybe on our mind too."

 

Gulf Coast next plays host to No. 16 Harford today at 1 p.m.

 

ARKANSAS BAPTIST (67)

Holliday 1 0-0 2, Nelson 3 2-2 9, Beard 0 0-0 0, Meeks 4 3-6 11, Saxton 1 0-0 2, Echols 0 0-0 0, Doctor 2 0-0 5, Mosely 5 3-6 14, Morrell 0 0-0 0, Johnson 9 0-0 22, Shelton 0 0-0 0, Wills 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 8-16 67.

 

GULF COAST (93)

Green 2 0-0 5, Fox 4 6-9 14, Purifoy 0 1-2 1, Emery 3 0-0 7, O'Neal 8 1-2 17, Bennett 4 1-2 10, Castro 3 2-2 8, Dunlap 7 2-2 16, Edwards 2 0-2 4, Bell 0 2-2 2, Diagne 4 1-3 9. Totals: 37 16-26 93.

 

Arkansas Baptist 10 15 23 19 - 67

Gulf Coast 26 23 20 24 - 93

 

3-point field goals: Arkansas Baptist 7 (Johnson 4, Mosely, Doctor, Nelson), Gulf Coast 3 (Green, Emery, Bennett). Total fouls: Arkansas Baptist 20, Gulf Coast 17. Fouled out: Smith. Technical fouls: none.

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