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GC men beat Central Florida in OT

November 9, 2012  23:09 PM

News Herald Staff

PANAMA CITY — Flummoxed by Central Florida’s zone defense for much of the game, the Gulf Coast men’s basketball team figured out how to attack it just in time Friday night.

Leonard Smith’s steal and layin with 17 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, and the Commodores pulled away in the extra session for an 85-80 victory over Central Florida in a non-conference game at the Billy Harrison Field House.

Ranked ninth in Florida, GC improved to 2-1 overall. Central Florida, the fourth-ranked team in the state, fell to 2-1.

Chad Frazier fired in 26 points, Jose Rodrigues contributed with 23, and Devon Baulkman added 17 for the Commodores. GC coach Jay Powell said those three players were instrumental in the team’s effort to solve the Patriots’ 2-3 zone.

“In the junior college level, to play a zone for an entire game is rare,” Powell said. “We had scouted them in a game against Hillsborough, and they played all zone. Then in a game against St. Petersburg it was all man. We didn’t know what to expect. I thought they might mix it up some, but they didn’t. They did a good job most of the night.”

Powell said the zone offense his team tried to use early was ineffective.

“On the fly we put in a couple sets against the zone,” Powell said. “When we made our run late in the second half it was really Devon Baulkman, Jose Rodrigues and Chad Frazier executing set plays against the zone very well three possessions in a row. That allowed us to close the gap fairly quickly.”

Central Florida scored 28 points in the game’s first 10 minutes and led by 14 points early, Powell said, but GC’s defense limited the Patriots to just 10 more points before halftime. Powell added that contributions from the team’s younger players, particularly freshman post Andrew Fishler, aided the Commodores’ effort to come back.

Gulf Coast hosts Port City Prep, a team out of Charleston, S.C., Saturday at 3 p.m.

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