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NWF State men hold back one-dimensional GC

January 7, 2013  22:55 PM

Jason Shoot/News Herald Staff

PANAMA CITY — Gulf Coast eventually found its fifth Beatle, so to speak. What it needed was a fifth Commodore.

Tenth-ranked Northwest Florida State overcame a one-dimensional Gulf Coast men’s basketball team, and the Raiders collected a 78-73 victory over GC Saturday night in a Panhandle Conference game at the Billy Harrison Field House.

The Raiders improved to 14-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference. GC dropped to 15-3 and 0-1.

Marvin Williams led NWF State with 17 points and Elgin Cook added 16. Those two stand 6-foot-8 and 6-6, respectively, and their ability to score inside was something the Commodores couldn’t match.

Marvin Williams led NWF State with 17 points and Elgin Cook added 16. Those two stand 6-foot-8 and 6-6, respectively, and their ability to score inside was something the Commodores couldn’t match.

Four GC players combined for 71 of the Commodores’ 73 points, and that focused scoring led to frequent bursts and droughts alike. A shooting slump in the final three minutes of the game ultimately doomed GC.

Devon Baulkman, who scored 20 points for the Commodores, gave GC a 70-67 lead with two free throws following an intentional foul. GC had a chance to stretch its lead to five on the ensuing possession, but a turnover resulted in Chris Jones’ 3-pointer in transition on the other end to knot the score at 70-all.

Williams scored on a putback to give NWF State a 72-70 advantage with 2:06 left. GC closed the gap to one point at 72-71 and at 74-73 before the Raiders’ Lamin Fulton knocked down two free throws with 24 seconds left. Chad Frazier missed a 3-pointer at the other end on GC’s next possession, and Jones iced the contest with two free throws with 12 seconds left.

Jones, the reigning conference player of the year, finished with 11 points. The Louisville commit entered the game averaging 24.2 points.

Frazier led all scorers with 21 points for GC. Jose Rodrigues added 17, and Leonard Smith had 13. Andrew Fishler’s bucket with 7:45 left in the second half was the only other field goal scored by a GC player.

NWF State led 35-33 at halftime. Williams and Jones had eight and seven points, respectively, before halftime. Baulkman (14), Rodrigues (11) and Frazier (eight) combined for all 33 of GC’s points in the first half.

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