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GC women eke out road win; men routed

By The News Herald

Posted Jan 10, 2018 at 10:08 PM

NICEVILLE — The No. 3 Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned a hard-fought 50-48 road victory over No. 4 Northwest Florida State on Wednesday night, while the Commodore men were routed by the top-ranked Raiders 95-53.

 

Kionna Jeter had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Lady Commodores (14-1 overall, 2-0 in the Panhandle Conference), while Shayla Bennett scored eight points, and Janesha Green had seven. Jhileiya Dunlap added five points, 11 rebounds, and five blocked shots. Awa Trasi led the Lady Raiders (16-1, 1-1) with 18 points, followed by Angela Jernigan with 17.

 

Both teams struggled to generate offense all night against two of the premier defenses in the country, with Gulf Coast shooting just 4 of 28 from the 3-point line after hitting 10 of 24 in its league-opening win over Tallahassee on Saturday. That wasn’t a huge shock to Lady Commodores coach Roonie Scovel going against a team that came into Wednesday’s game 11th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 38.5 points per contest.

 

“Yeah, that was a tough ballgame,” Lady Commodores coach Roonie Scovel said. “It was a low scoring and tough defensive battle on both sides. Neither team executed very well offensively. We knew it would be tough. There’s a reason why (the Lady Raiders) have played as well as they’ve played this year and are ranked No. 4 in the country. They’ve got all the pieces. They’ve got a good point, great shooters, good post presence. We were very fortunate to walk away with a win.”

 

It was a nip and tuck game throughout, with the two clubs tied at 12-12 after one quarter before Gulf Coast moved ahead 24-20 at halftime. The Lady Raiders surged back in front 35-33 thanks to a brilliant, spinning layup by Jernigan on the last play of the third quarter.

 

Gulf Coast went back in front 41-38 with 7:31 left to play after Jeter delivered a coast-to-coast driving layup and a pull-up jumper, but the Lady Raiders answered with a 3-pointer by Jade Lewis and another by Georgia Gayle to go ahead 44-43 with 4:10 remaining.

 

Bennett’s 3-pointer from the left corner provided the answer for GC to go back up 46-44 with 3:25 to play, but a three from Jernigan with 1:47 on the clock put Northwest ahead 48-46. The Lady Commodores had multiple opportunities to tie on their next two possessions but couldn’t convert in the paint and then turned the ball over with just over 20 seconds to play.

 

GC was forced to foul Jernigan with 11.2 seconds on the clock, but she missed both free throws to leave the door open for the Lady Commodores. A driving attempt by Jeter fell off the mark, but Dunlap grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 4.2 seconds to play.

 

Dunlap hit the first free throw and missed the second, but Alexus Dye came up with yet another offensive rebound and was fouled with 3 seconds to play. Dye then calmly made both free throws to give Gulf Coast the lead for good at 49-48.

 

Northwest called timeout and advanced the ball to the frontcourt with a chance to tie or take the lead, but Lewis stepped out of bounds when receiving the inbounds pass to give it right back to Gulf Coast. Jeter made 1 of 2 free throws with 1.2 seconds on the clock and Gayle’s last-second full-court heave fell well short as time expired.

 

The Gulf Coast men trailed 43-29 at halftime and were blitzed 52-24 in the second half. Andres Feliz had 24 points to lead the Raiders, followed by Chris Duarte with 20, Derek Funderburk with 13, and Kelvin Robinson with 10. Will Robinson was the top scorer for the Commodores with 22 points and seven rebounds. Josh Wade and Marlon Adams had eight points each.

Gulf Coast will be back at home Saturday against Pensacola State. The women’s game will tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.

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