PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast ripped off 16 straight points in the middle of the first half Saturday afternoon on the way to beating East Central 83-73 at the Weathers-Wentzell Center.
"I was concerned because they're a very good shooting team," Gulf Coast coach Tim Ryan said. "I thought we challenged their shots much better than we have before."
Melvion Flanagan (Fr., Alexandria La./Peabody) had 23 points and five rebounds, and Anthony Ratliff (So., Jackson/Terry) scored 21 with eight boards.
Ratliff had seven points for Gulf Coast (4-4, 2-4 MACCC South) during that 16-0 run that turned a 17-16 deficit into a big lead that would eventually balloon to 44-22.
"Those kinds of things are always spurred by your defense," Ryan said. "We got some stops, we hit some 3s, but that is all about getting some stops. When you're on that kind of run, the team that's on the other end, they get down and that gets you out going."
The Warriors (0-7, 0-7) got it back to a 13-point halftime deficit, and they would get within 78-71 with 2:44 left in the game before Ratliff dunked and Carr Thiam (Fr., Tampa Fla./Wharton) scored a layup-and-one to ice the game.
Thiam finished with 14 points, and Rodrique Massenat (So., Trenton N.J./Trenton Catholic) added 12.
The game should have been the midway point of the South schedule, although the Bulldogs have a makeup game with Hinds. Ryan's first-year charges are doing him proud on the court.
"The effort they give and how hard they play is their best attribute, by far," he said. "They have hearts of gold, these guys. I can't be more pleased than that. I think we're playing better, and our improvement as a team is impressive."
Gulf Coast turns around Monday to play Jones at Perk. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. The Bulldogs won the first meeting in Ellisville 76-71.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
By: Don Hammack
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College