Lights out shooting lifts GC women to big win
By Dustin Kent747-5065 | @PCNHDustinKentdkent@pcnh.com
PA\NAMA CITY - As the top-ranked team in the nation facing off against a one-win Alabama Southern team, Gulf Coast could've reasonably expected a very lopsided victory before Thursday's non-conference game at the Billy Harrison Field House tipped off.
However, that didn't make the Lady Commodores' first quarter offensive explosion any less remarkable to witness. Gulf Coast rang up 43 points with six 3-pointers in the game's opening 10 minutes and coasted to a 107-41 victory to improve to 12-0 on the year. Alabama Southern dropped to 1-9.
"We barely hit (that many) threes in a game and we hit (that) in the first quarter," Lady Commodores coach Roonie Scovel said. "It was a tremendous shooting effort in that first quarter and a great team defense effort. After that the game got a little sloppy, but we got to play a lot of people and it was a great win going into finals.
"I thought the kids got fired up for this one and executed really well. When you talk about the first quarter, that was outstanding."
Taylor Emery led the Lady Commodores with 23 points, while Raven Fox added 15, LaSonja Edwards 12, Maria Castro 11, Jhaleiya Dunlap
10, Shaterrika O'Neal and Shayla Bennett with nine each, and Fatou Diagne with eight.
It was a matter of mere seconds before the Lady Commodores put a crooked number on the scoreboard, with Castro scoring quickly off the tip for a bucket with the foul for a three-point play. On the very next GC possession, Castro knocked in an open 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 6-0 less than a minute into the game.
O'Neal and Diagne followed with baskets before Alabama Southern got on the board with a 3-pointer by Mya Cleveland with 7:19 left in the quarter. But the Lady Commodores answered with a pair of fast-break baskets by Emery, a putback by Dunlap, and a 3-pointer from Raven Fox to go up 20-5.
Back to back threes from Bennett and another transition two from Fox on a pass from Dunlap put the Lady Commodores up 30-5 with 2:42 on the clock. The run continued with a jumper by Emery following a turnover and two more threes from Bennett and Castro to make it 39-5.
Emery closed the first quarter with an offensive rebound and putback and another jumper in the closing seconds to make it 43-5 and cap off a 26-0 run.
The Lady Commodores continued to pour it on early in the second quarter, with a jumper by Janesha Green, a driving basket by Emery, and another fast-break bucket by Emery on a feed from Dunlap making it 53-10 before Scovel started substituting starters out midway through the
Gulf Coast will have three more home games Nov. 15-17 starting with Bossier Parish, followed by Arkansas Baptist, and Harford.
ALABAMA SOUTHERN (41)
Cleveland 5 0-0 13, Rudolph 1 0-0 3, Pugh 2 0-0 5, Hall 0 1-2 1, Kiser 1 0-0 3, Jakes 3 2-5 8, Merrit 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Norwood 1 2-2 4, Truelove 0 0-0 0, Peak 0 2-2 2, Crook 0 2-2 2. Totals: 14 7-11 41.
GULF COAST (107)
Green 2 0-0 4, Fox 6 1-4 15, Purifoy 0 0-0 0, Emery 10 3-3 23, O'Neal 3 2-2 9, Bennett 3 0-0 9, Castro 4 1-1 11, Dunlap 4 2-4 10, Edwards 6 0-0 12, Bell 1 2-2 4, Diagne 3 2-4 8, Rushin 1 0-0 2. Totals: 43 13-20 107.
Alabama Southern 5 15 6 15 - 41
Gulf Coast 43 26 19 19 - 107
3-point field goals: Gulf Coast 8 (Bennett 3, Fox 2, Castro 2, O'Neal), Alabama Southern 6 (Cleveland 3, Rudolph, Pugh, Kiser). Total fouls: Alabama Southern 18, Gulf Coast 9. Fouled out: Hall. Technical fouls: none.