Header

Copeland's 24 lifts Gulf Coast by TCC 76-66

By Dustin Kent | News Herald Writer | Twitter: @PCNHDustinKent

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 11:25PM

 

PANAMA CITY - Facing the midway point of the Panhandle Conference season, Gulf Coast could ill afford to fall two games below .500 in arguably the most competitive league in the country.

Thanks to their second straight double digit victory, the Commodores won’t have to face that proposition.

Coming off of a 70-53 road win over Chipola four days earlier, Gulf Coast added another big victory Wednesday night by knocking off Tallahassee 76-66.

The win improved Gulf Coast to 3-3 in the conference and 16-7 overall, with TCC falling to 16-8 overall and 2-5 in the league.

Quavius Copeland topped all scorers with 24 points for the Commodores, who led for most of the night, though it took a big run late in the second half to pull away for good.

“I felt like we made some good runs and they made some good runs,” Gulf Coast coach Jay Powell said. “We were just able to make our runs a little bit bigger than theirs and that was the difference.”

GulfCoastgot off to a fast start, jumping out to a 14-2 lead thanks to a pair of early 3-pointers by Copeland, with a transition two from Davaris McGowens giving GC the 12-point edge less than six minutes into the game.

An 11-2 Commodores run increased the margin to 16, with a tip-in by Copeland, a transition bucket by Jonathan Wade, a three from DeMario Beck, a short jumper by Cobe Goosby, and two free throws from McGowens making it 28-12 with 7:50 to halftime.

The Eagles closed the half strong, however, getting a scoring boost from Dirk Williams and some pressure defense from Jahvaughn Powell to turn the momentum.

Powell forced a pair of steals and turned both into layups to spark a 13-2 TCC run, with Williams throwing down a big one-handed dunk on a run-out to cut the lead to 30-25 late in the half.

It was 38-34 at the break and the Eagles continued to make up ground early in the second half, with a three from Norbertas Giga tying the game 43-43 with 16:42 remaining.

DeMario Beck untied it with an offensive rebound and putback and followed with a three-point play moments later to make it 52-46.

A big 3-pointer by Copeland pushed the lead to nine with 10:28 left, but the Eagles clawed back to within five at 58-53 after another three from Giga and a driving bucket off glass by Stavian Allen.

Three free throws from Goosby and a nice left-handed finish in traffic by Copeland put it back to nine with 8:03 remaining, and another driving bucket by Goosby and a pair of Wade free throws made it 68-55 with 4:40 to play.

TCC got back to within single digits once more after back to back threes from Giga and Williams made it 74-66 with 35.1 seconds left, but it was too little, too late.

Giga led the Eagles with 17 points, with Williams adding 15, and Powell 11. Goosby finished with 13 for Gulf Coast, with Beck adding 11 points off the bench, Wade 10, and McGowens eight.

The Commodores got key contributions from several players, but it was Copeland’s stewardship at the point that helped most in getting the lead and his six straight free throws down the stretch that helped close it out.

“Quavius did a real nice job of running the team,” Powell said. “We had a lot of good, hard-nosed efforts by the men to win the ballgame.”

The win puts Gulf Coast squarely in the race for the crucial second-place spot in the league that grants a berth in the state tournament, with the Commodores now trailing Pensacola State (4-3) by just a half-game in the standings after the Pirates’ 69-62 loss to Northwest Florida State on Wednesday.

GulfCoast can move into sole possession of second with another home win Saturday over Pensacola.

“It was big for us to win tonight and we have an opportunity here in round two of the conference to make a good run at second place and get in the state tournament,” Powell said. “Hopefully the men will regroup and go back out there Saturday and put together another solid effort for 40 minutes.” TALLAHASSEE(66)

Stephen 0 1-2 1, Williams 6 2-4 15, Nottage 2 2-2 7, Giga 6 1-2 17, Allen 3 0-0 6, Powell 5 1-1 11, Corbin 3 0-1 7, Smith 0 2-4 2. Totals: 25 9-16 66.

GULFCOAST(76)

Wade 3 4-6 10, Goosby 4 3-4 13, Monroe 1 0-0 2, Beck 4 1-1 11, Copeland 7 7-8 24, McGowens 2 4-5 8, Carr 1 0-0 2, Waters 3 0-0 6. Totals 26 19-24 76.

Halftime score: Gulf Coast 38, Tallahassee 34. Three-point field goals: Tallahassee 7 (Giga 4, Williams, Nottage, Corbin), Gulf Coast 5 (Copeland 3, Beck 2). Total fouls: Tallahassee 23, Gulf Coast 16. Fouled out: Nottage. Technical fouls: none.

 

NJCAA
FCSAA
GCSC
Gulf Coast State College Athletics | 5230 West Highway 98 | Panama City, FL | 850.769.1551
©2011 | Privacy Policy | Webmaster