Deshawn Jones' heroics at the end of regulation and Eliel Gonzalez's work in overtime propelled Mississippi Gulf Coast to a 105-97 victory over archrival Pearl River.
The victory Tuesday in Poplarville got the Bulldogs (13-1, 4-1 MACJC South) back in the win column after their first loss of the season, a double-overtime defeat to Southwest. It also snapped a seven-game Wildcats win streak and created a three-way tie for first in the MACJC South Division between Gulf Coast, Pearl River and Southwest.
"We're in a good spot," Bulldogs coach Wendell Weathers said. "I like where we are. I'm happy where we are. I'm maybe a little surprised at where we are."
PRCC falls to 10-4.
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Gonzalez came off the bench and led Gulf Coast with a season-high 27 points. Jones added 23, and Tedrian Brisco had 19, also off the bench.
Tuesday was an adventure for Gulf Coast. The Bulldogs dug a big hole early, then leading-scorer Davion Cole-Johnson was thrown out of the game after his second technical midway through the first half.
Anfernee Hampton, the second-leading scorer, also sat a bulk of the opening 20 minutes with foul trouble, but the Bulldogs came back to lead 50-40 at halftime.
Hampton didn't play much after the half, again with more foul problems. He and Cole-Johnson combined for 12 points.
"We were able to run our offense and play through other kids. I thought we had a really good team effort tonight," Weathers said. "We played 85 percent of the game without our two leading scorers and still scored 105. We've got capable kids."
Pearl River took the lead back 82-80 on a 3-pointer with 2:27 left and extended the lead to four on a layup 30 second later.
After a PRCC free throw, Gonzalez hit a bucket with 22.4 seconds left.
When the Wildcats made only one of two free throws with 12.1 seconds left, Jones nailed a long 3 beyond the top of the key with 4.4 seconds left to force overtime.
"I just told them, you've got to get a 3-point shot. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out," Weathers said. "Shawn had a pretty good luck, maybe a little bit further out than we needed to be. At the end of the day, the Good Lord smiled on us."
Gulf Coast took control in overtime, getting out to a 100-91 lead after Gonzalez's last bucket over the extra session. He had 11 points in overtime.
"E is a very talented kid," Weathers said. "Keeping him under control is the biggest problem we have with him. He's very, very talented. It's not a matter of can he do it; it's a matter of if he can do it his way."
PRCC women 60, MGCCC 57: The Pearl River Community College women played one of their best games of the season Tuesday night, rallying in the fourth quarter to defeat Mississippi Gulf Coast 60-57 in a South Division game at M.R. White Coliseum.
The Lady Wildcats overcame an eight-point deficit, outscoring Gulf Coast 16-11 in the fourth quarter in a contest that saw 11 lead changes and eight ties.
PRCC trailed 46-44 going into the final period, but Shaniqua Magee hit a short jump shot in the lane to tie it at 50-50, and Asia Thibodeaux nailed a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats ahead for good at 55-52.
Pearl River got a balanced scoring attack, led by Shelanita Starks, who had 12 points - 10 in the second half. Akayla Powell added 11 points, and Magee had 10 points and 8 rebounds for PRCC (5-8 overall, 2-3 division).
Alex Cumbest had 8 points and 7 rebounds, and Jada Ivy had 7 points and 6 boards off the bench for the Lady Wildcats.
Markeisha Watson had 23 points to lead Gulf Coast (9-5, 1-4), which lost its third straight game.