Mississippi Gulf Coast 81
East Central women 69
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College dominated most categories of the score sheet during its win against East Central on Thursday night in Decatur. However, the category most disappointing to Warrior coach Crandal Porter could not be found in any statistic.
The difference, according to Porter, was Gulfport’s effort and hunger throughout the contest.
“In the post, they just wanted it more,” Porter said. “They outrebounded us, they scrapped for loose balls, they posted up better, and they just wanted the ball more than we did. You have to give them a lot of credit tonight.”
Gulf Coast center Brittany Jones led the way for the Bulldogs in the post, scoring 22 points on 11-of-20 shooting, while also collecting eight rebounds. Presley Owens and Markia Nix both recorded double-doubles for the Bulldogs, with Owens recording 15 points and 10 rebounds while Nix put up 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulldogs outrebounded the Warriors 59-48 while also forcing East Central into 15 turnovers. The low-post dominance took away East Central’s inside game, forcing the Warriors to rely on low-percentage shots.
The reliance on jumpers would come back to haunt East Central, as the Warriors finished the night 28.8 percent from the field on 21-of-73 shooting.
After Xzandra Dowd got into early foul trouble, the Warriors almost exclusively turned to Jaianah Matthew for points.
“I had no choice, all I could do is shoot and hope for the best,” Matthew said. “I tried everything I could to bring us back tonight.”
The sophomore put up 47 shots including 23 3-point attempts en route to leading the Warriors in scoring with 22. Matthew shot a mere 27.6 percent from the field. However, with none of her teammates electing to take shots, she was forced to continue to put up shots.
“We were intimidated from the inside and looked unsure from the outside,” Porter said. “Nobody but Matthew was taking shots, so it ended up with her taking a lot of them.”
The loss moved East Central to 4-10 on the season. The Warriors travel to Copiah-Lincoln on Tuesday.
“We are still in the hunt for a playoff berth,” Porter said. “Hopefully things will start to click and we will get more effort and execution. We will be fine.”