PERKINSTON — The first 60 seconds of the second half weren't good for Mississippi Gulf Coast. They fell behind quickly by double-digits, but a hockey line-change substitution provided the spark in a 71-67 win over Southwest at the Weathers-Wentzell Center.
"Thank God for our bench," Bulldogs coach Jason Harrison said. "That's one thing about my team I like. You really can't concentrate on just one person. Southwest came out with a lot more intensity, and I've got guys sitting on the bench just waiting to get their chance. I had to go with my guy, and I went with some energy guys. It was a 15-0 run, and that's the ballgame."
Dillyn Neely (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) had eight points in the run, including a 3-pointer from nearly the center circle to help lead a fresh five-man substitution that turned a 40-30 deficit into a 45-40 advantage in just three minutes. Colby Cooke (So., Laurel/Laurel) had a 3-pointer of his own to cap the explosion.
Neely finished with 18 points.
"He played bad last game and was ready to go this game," Harrison said. "Once he calms down and gets his feet set, man, he's dangerous. He had a good stretch. Colby Cooke came in, Xavier Bass came in, Calvin Johnson came in, Andy Banks came in and gave great energy to show the starters what kind of game this was."
Jayden McCorvey (Fr., Pascagoula/Pascagoula) had 15 for Gulf Coast, which stayed perfect in 11 games and three MACJC South contests. The Bulldogs had 11 different players score.
The Bulldogs would eventually push their lead to nine points with 7:46 to play, then held on after Southwest (7-5, 1-2) cut that deficit to two points with 5:37 to play.
"It's a good come-from-behind win, a good conference win, a good home win," Harrison said. "Overall just a good win."
Gulf Coast will now have to win some games on the road. After playing the first three division games at Perk, the Bulldogs play six of the next seven on the road. That trek starts Thursday at Meridian, when tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College