Mississippi Gulf Coast suffered its first loss of the season Thursday to Southwest, but it was a heart-pounding, double-overtime thrill ride.
Southwest prevailed 89-88, and Gulf Coast fell to 12-1 overall, 3-1 MACJC. The Bulldogs were led by Davion Cole-Johnson's 32-point effort, and a slew of clutch plays down the stretch by Deshawn Jones.
The Bears (8-4, 3-1) were led by Murray State commit Terrell Miller's 33 points.
"Every time we've played, from a spectator's standpoint, it's probably been entertaining," Bulldogs coach Wendell Weathers said. "To be perfectly honest, we're not here to entertain people, we're here to win games."
Gulf Coast trailed 71-66 with 37.3 seconds left in regulation. Jones scored on a coast-to-coast drive. After three Bears missed free throws, he sent the game to overtime with another drive topped with a free throw to complete the three-point play with 10.5 seconds left.
Southwest led 80-75 with 2:34 left in the first overtime before Cole-Johnson hit a 3-pointer, Anfernee Hampton scored on a drive and Tedrian Brisco got a bucket in the lane for a 7-2 run in the next 90 seconds.
Jones finished with 22 points for Gulf Coast.
Mississippi Gulf Coast's women suffered a second consecutive loss for the first time this season, falling 66-59 to Southwest at the Weathers/Wetzel Center.
Still, there were encouraging signs, particularly in the Lady Bulldogs' effort. They battled back from double-digit deficits during the first three quarters, eventually tying the Lady Bears at 50 with 9:10 left in the game.
Pearl River 83, Jones 70: The Pearl River Community College men used a smashing first half to build a big lead, and weathered a furious comeback by Jones County to take the season's first Cat Fight with an 83-70 win in front of a boisterous crowd Thursday night at M.R. White Coliseum.
The victory, coupled with Southwest's 89-88 double-overtime victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast, left the Wildcats in sole possession of first place in the MACJC South Division.
In the women's game, JCJC remained in a first-place tie in the division with a 68-38 win over the Lady Wildcats.
For PRCC, the victory in the men's game was its seventh straight.
"I'm really excited for the guys," PRCC coach Chris Oney said. "If I was giving out MVP trophies for tonight, I could give out 12 of them. Everybody contributed, even the guys that didn't play.
"But it's a real luxury to have so many guys that have been in so many big games that they're not afraid to step up."
Cortez Mitchell had 26 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists for Pearl River (10-3 overall, 4-0 division), and Darrlyn Willis had 20 points and 9 rebounds, despite sitting for much of the second half with foul trouble.
It was Willis who sparked the Wildcats in the first half, scoring eight points in a 10-2 run that put PRCC ahead 28-15. Later in the half, Mitchell had a pair of 3-point shots as the Wildcats went on an 18-4 surge to build a 47-25 lead right before halftime.
PRCC converted 17 of 29 shots from the field (58.6 percent) in the first half, including6 of 14 from 3-point range.
Jones (7-4, 2-2) rallied in the second half, and closed the margin to six on two occasions, but each time the Wildcats had an answer.
Tawarren Grant added 15 points off the bench for Pearl River, converting 5 of 8 shots from beyond the arc.
Andre Johnson led JCJC with 15 points, Ricky Holden added 14 points, and Bruce Stevens had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
In the women's game, PRCC hung with the Lady Bobcats for most of the first half, which included eight lead changes. But Jones closed the half on an 8-0 run to lead 25-19 at halftime, and came out smoking in the third quarter.