Commodores hold back Manatees

November 30, 2012  23:12 PM

News Herald Staff

MARIANNA — Devon Baulkman has made a seamless transition into the backcourt at Gulf Coast.

Baulkman was one of three GC players to score more than 20 points Friday and the Commodores turned back State College of Florida's furious last-minute rally to collect a 96-93 win in a men’s basketball game at the Milton H. Johnson Health Center.

State College of Florida (7-2) entered the game ranked seventh in the state, one spot behind Gulf Coast (8-1). GC coach Jay Powell said the Manatees came into the contest as the highest-scoring team in the nation averaging 106 points per game.

The Commodores led by 10 with a minute and a half to play, Powell said, before SCF heated up from the perimeter. The Manatees buried three 3-pointers and quickly trimmed Gulf Coast's lead to one, but Jose Rodrigues converted two free throws with six-tenths of a second left to seal the Commodore win.

Baulkman and Rodrigues scored 22 points apiece, one shy of Chad Frazier's team-high 23. Frazier and Rodrigues played together last year, and Baulkman has joined that tandem to provide the Commodores with significant scoring punch out of the backcourt.

“Those three men are doing a nice job scoring points and leading us,” Powell said. “I'm pleased with their play. They've been very unselfish and are sharing the ball, and they have to keep that mentality.”

Baulkman has been a key figure in the Commodores' effort to move the ball.

“Devon is very talented, and the unselfishness starts with him,” Powell said. “Anyone who plays with Devon knows he plays hard and wants to win very badly. Playing with him you have no choice but to be an unselfish team.”

GC plays Clinton Junior College today at noon at the Milton H. Johnson Health Center.

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