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No. 3 Lady Commodores upset by Pensacola State, 77-73

By Dustin Kent

PENSACOLA — The No. 3 Gulf Coast women’s basketball team were stunned 77-73 by Pensacola State on Wednesday night.

The Lady Commodores (16-2 overall, 3-2 on the Panhandle Conference) had a chance to move into a first-place tie in the league standings after Chipola’s 74-68 loss to Northwest Florida State.

However, Gulf Coast remains in second place a game off the lead and now has company with the Lady Raiders moving to 3-2 with Wednesday’s win.

Pensacola State (14-9, 2-3) is now just a game out of second with the top two spots from the Panhandle qualifying for the postseason.

Jordyn Neal led the Pirates with 26 points and seven rebounds, including the game-winning basket with 21 seconds to play.

With Gulf Coast leading 73-72 following a hook shot by Tatiana Jones with 1:20 on the clock, the teams exchanged empty possessions before Pensacola State took over and got the ball to Neal with the shot clock winding down.

Neal drove to the basket and scored on a runner in the lane while drawing a blocking foul on D’Asia Gregg.

She hit the bonus free throw to make it 75-73, with Gulf Coast’s Lya Farcy missing a driving layup attempt on the next possession.

Kaiya Burnett, who finished with 18 points, iced the game with a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds on the clock.

Anita Payne added 14 points for the Pirates, who shot 52.6 percent from the field in the second half to outscore the Lady Commodores 40-32.

They also shot 10 of 23 from the 3-point line and made 21 of 30 from the free throw line.

By contrast, the Lady Commodores made just 4 of 19 from the 3-point line, including 0 of 9 in the second half.

D’Asia Gregg scored 21 points on just 10 shots to lead Gulf Coast, with Ahlana Smith adding 14 points. Tatiana Jones also scored nine points, while Savannah Slade and Naomi Mbandu scored eight points each.

Pensacola State took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Gulf Coast 26-15 and going up 63-56 on a 3-pointer by Neal in the waning seconds.

Gulf Coast charged back with an 11-0 run to start the fourth capped by two straight jumpers by Smith to go up 66-63 with 5:55 remaining.

The Pirates answered with a 7-1 run, with a three by Khadija Chambliss hitting a three to put Pensacola back up 70-67.

Jones made three straight buckets for the Commodores to go back up 73-72 before Burnett missed a shot and Smith rimmed out on an open baseline jumper that could’ve extended the margin to three.

Gulf Coast will next play Saturday at home against Northwest Florida State. Pensacola State will next play Jan. 29 at Chipola.

 

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