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Lady Commodores set school record in 110-94 win

By DUSTIN KENT 
News Herald Assistant Sports Editor 
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at 10:32 PM

 

PANAMA CITY — The Gulf Coast women’s basketball team has looked the part of a serious contender to make a run at its third straight national championship for pretty much all season. Despite losing their second-leading scorer, the No. 2 Lady Commodores appear to have found an extra gear this week.

 

Gulf Coast earned its second consecutive blowout victory over a Panhandle Conference foe Saturday night at the Billy Harrison Field House, following an 87-51 destruction of Chipola on Wednesday by routing No. 9 Tallahassee 110-94. The Lady Commodores made a school-record 19 3-pointers in the victory, with Shayla Bennett and Astou Gaye leading the way with six each.

 

The offensive performance was enough to inspire awe in Gulf Coast coach Roonie Scovel, who has certainly seen her share of impressive Lady Commodore performances over the course of her career.

 

“Oh my gosh, 110 points. Is that not amazing?” she asked. “The kids are just kind of figuring it out. I thought we played some really good basketball tonight. Nineteen threes, that’s amazing. (Diene Diane) and Shayla and Astou all hit big shots and they hit some really long-range shots too. We executed well. We’re just starting to get it, to understand our role and understand how to play basketball. It’s a very simple game. You spend a lot of time running plays and they get confused, but once they just learn what each other can do and they’re talented, it’s pretty fun to watch.”

 

Bennett finished with a game-high 31 points on 8 of 16 from the field and 6 of 10 from three, while Gaye added 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists on 7 of 9 from the field and 6 of 7 from the 3-point line. Jhileiya Dunlap also had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three blocks, and Diane finished with 14 points on 4 of 5 from the 3-point line. Janesha Green made all three of her 3-point attempts to score 11 points.

 

There were several key performances in Saturday’s win, but it’s the emergence of Gaye that may be most noteworthy. The 6-foot-2 French national had a slow start to the season as she recovered from an injury that kept her out of action for four months, but over the past four games she is averaging 16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while providing excellent interior defense as well.

“She has been huge,” Scovel said of Gaye. “We’ve been waiting on it and waiting on it, and we’ve stayed on her. We’ve told her, ‘you’ve got to do this, this is what we signed you for and you can’t wait until next year.’ Well, she didn’t wait until next year

tonight.”

 

Nakiah Black led TCC with 30 points, followed by Japonica James with 22, and Juliunn Redmond with 17. The Lady Eagles dropped to 19-5 overall and 4-5 in the Panhandle Conference. Gulf Coast remains in first place at 8-1 in league play and 20-2 overall.

 

The Lady Commodores were thoroughly dominant at both ends of the court in the first half, using stifling defense to contain the Lady Eagles’ explosive offensive attack and raining down 3-pointers with regularity at the other end of the court. Gulf Coast made 10 3-pointers in the first half in building as much as a 29-point lead vs. an overwhelmed TCC team.

 

Astou Gaye hit two threes and Diane hit another to give GC a quick 9-0 lead. A deep 3-pointer by Bennett and another three from the right corner by Diane increased the Gulf Coast advantage to 23-5 with 3:29 left in the first quarter. The Lady Commodores continued their incredible shooting display in the second quarter, with Bennett knocking in a transition triple, Gaye hitting a straightaway 3-pointer, and Green making threes from each corner to give GC a 45-19 lead with 4:58 on the clock.

 

Another three from Gaye gave Gulf Coast its biggest lead at 52-23 with 3:01 left until halftime. The Lady Eagles closed the first half on a 13-4 run thanks to five points from Black and a buzzer-beating three from Jas Hill to make it 56-36.

 

Gulf Coast kept pouring it on in the third quarter, getting a three from Bennett in the right corner, another triple from Gaye, and yet another 3-pointer from Bennett on a nice pass outside by Dunlap to go up 71-43 with 6:06 on the clock. TCC fought back to cut the deficit to 19 on a corner 3-pointer from Black that made it 78-59 with 2:15 left in the third and the margin was 20 at the end of the quarter.

 

A three from Dawn Gipson cut the Gulf Coast lead to 84-67 early in the fourth quarter, but a three from Gaye and two more threes from Diane keyed a 13-6 Gulf Coast surge to make it 97-73 with 6:15 to play. Another 3-pointer from Bennett with 4:41 remaining set the school record and Green provided the 19th 3-pointer of the night from the left corner to make it 105-80 with 4:13 left to play.

The previous record for 3-point makes in a game for Gulf Coast was 17 back in 2007 against Bishop State. The Lady Commodores will next play at Northwest Florida State on Wednesday, while the Lady Eagles are home for Chipola on Tuesday.

 

TALLAHASSEE (94)

M. Hill 1 0-0 2, Pearce 0 0-0 0, J. Hill 1 0-0 3, Gibson 3 1-1 8, Mazyck 1 0-0 2, James 8 6-7 22, Perry 1 2-2 4, Redmond 8 0-0 17, Black 10 4-5 30, Logbognon 2 2-3 6. Totals: 35 15-18 94.

 

GULF COAST (110)

Green 4 0-0 11, Dye 4 0-0 8, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Collins 1 0-0 2, Bennett 8 9-10 31, Diane 4 2-2 14, Dunlap 9 4-5 22, Banks 0 0-0 0, Gaye 7 2-2 22. Totals: 37 17-19 110.

 

Tallahassee 15 21 28 30 — 94

Gulf Coast 27 29 28 26 — 110

 

3-point field goals: Gulf Coast 19 (Bennett 6, Gaye 6, Diane 4, Green 3), Tallahassee 9 (Black 6, Redmond, Gibson, J. Hill). Total fouls: Tallahassee 17, Gulf Coast 15. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: Tallahassee bench.

 

 

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