PERKINSTON -- No. 24 Mississippi Gulf Coast played without its top scorer Thursday, but was able to retake sole possession of the MACJC South Division lead with a 75-67 win over Hinds.
Dylan Causwell had a season-high 24 points, asserting he early to help fill in for the absence of Davion Cole-Johnson. He was suspended after being ejected in the Bulldogs' big win at Pearl River for picking up two technical fouls in the first half.
"Dylan's getting better every day. He's still learning," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "He just turned 18 years old when school started. He's going to be a big part of this by the time we get through."
Gulf Coast improves to 14-1, 5-1 South. The Bulldogs were beneficiaries of road losses by Pearl River and Southwest to get back on top.
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Hinds falls to 4-11, 1-6.
Tedrian Brisco had 14 points and Deshawn Jones added 12 for the Bulldogs.
Causwell scored seven of Gulf Coast's first 12 points, and the Bulldogs pulled out to a 28-16 lead with 7:37 left in the half. Hinds, though, scored the next 12 to tie the game, and the teams went to the locker room at half tied at 36.
"Tonight we didn't come out and play a good 40 minutes," Causwell said, "but we got the W so that's all we care about."
He had six straight points early in the second half as Gulf Coast opened a 49-38 lead.
Hinds would get no closer than five the rest of the way.
"Some people would tell you after a big win against a really good team, teams have letdowns," Weathers said. "I don't believe good teams have letdowns. The good thing about this team is they've been able to kind of flip a switch when the going gets tough."
Gulf Coast returns to action Monday at Copiah-Lincoln. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.
Gulf Coast women stumble: Kailin Young had 16 points, but they weren't enough to help Mississippi Gulf Coast against Hinds. The Lady Bulldogs lost 66-57 at the Weathers/Wentzell Center, seeing Hinds expand leads at the start of the last three quarters but not having enough to claw all the way back. "I was pleased with Kailin Young," Gulf Coast coach Jason Conner said. "She played well." Gulf Coast falls to 9-6, 1-5 MACJC South, while Hinds improved to 7-8 and got its first division win in six games. Markeisha Watson added 12 points and team-high seven rebounds for Gulf Coast.