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Gulf Coast men blast 14th-ranked Gadsden State

December 29, 2012  23:50 PM

Jason Shoot/News Herald Staff

PANAMA CITY — The Gulf Coast men's basketball team made a believer out of Gadsden State coach Todd Ginn.

The Commodores led from start to finish for the second game in a row, and GC manhandled 14th-ranked Gadsden State in an 83-57 rout Saturday in the Gulf Coast Holiday Classic at the Billy Harrison Field House.

GC improved to 14-2 while looking like a team worthy of its own place in the NJCAA national poll. Gadsden State fell to 10-2.

“Y’all are a good team,” Ginn acknowledged repeatedly in post-game handshakes with GC coaches and players.

Leading just 8-6 in the game's opening minutes, the Commodores seized control with a 16-1 run over a four-minute stretch. Leonard Smith keyed the spurt with his work on the defensive end, and he also scored six points during the run as GC built a 24-7 lead.

Gadsden State gathered its composure and used a 9-2 run to make the game competitive shortly before halftime at 40-30. The Commodores answered with seven straight points to close the half, however, and led by 17 at the break.

“We were very focused defensively, and the men did what we asked them to do,” GC coach Jay Powell said. “I was pleased with their effort, their intensity and their focus on the defensive end especially.”

The Cardinals weren't imposing physically, but Ginn’s team is outfitted with numerous three-point shooters, several of whom had range out to 25 feet and beyond. Powell said his players were told to stretch their defense out an extra step beyond the three-point arc to challenge the marksmen, and the tactic was effective as Gadsden State finished with just six three-pointers.

“No. 22 (Chance McCarver), No. 14 (Matt Margavio) and No. 12 (Collin Langley) all shoot the ball real well, and No. 3 (Kenric McCants) is a good point guard and slasher,” Powell said. “When you face great shooters and a penetrating point guard, that creates tough issues defensively, especially when you have to help defend and get out on the shooters.”

Devon Baulkman led Gulf Coast with 23 points and four 3-pointers, and backcourt mate Chad Frazier contributed with 19 points and a pair of 3-pointers. Jose Rodrigues and Basil Deveaux added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

McCants tossed in 15 points for the Cardinals.

Gulf Coast hosts USC-Salkehatchie at 4 p.m. today. USC-Salkehatchie beat the Commodores 78-76 in GC's season opener in Aiken, S.C., on Nov. 2.

GADSDEN STATE (57) — McCants 7 1-4 15, Daniels 0 0-0 0, Owens 0 3-4 3, Blackburn 0 0-0 0, Langley 2 2-3 8, Margavio 2 0-0 6, Lovelace 2 5-8 9, Wester 1 0-0 3, McCarver 1 0-0 3, Garner 0 3-5 3, Lee 1 1-2 3, Scott 1 2-2 4. Totals 17 17-28 57.

GULF COAST (83) — Deveaux 4 3-8 11, Gentry 0 1-2 1, D. Smith 0 2-4 2, Frazier 7 3-5 19, Tshikaya 0 0-0 0, L. Smith 2 4-4 8, Baulkman 9 1-2 23, Mosley 0 0-0 0, Rodrigues 4 4-4 13, Fishler 3 0-0 6. Totals 29 18-29 83.

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