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Eagles soar over Commodores 95-81

By DUSTIN KENT

January 06. 2016 10:38PM

 

PANAMA CITY — The first half of Wednesday’s Panhandle Conference opener for Gulf Coast featured some of the Commodores’ best shooting and best offense of the season. Then the second half happened.

 

A woeful shooting effort by GC and a dominant rebounding effort by Tallahassee  in the second half proved costly for the Commodores, who suffered their first league loss of the season 95-81 at the hands of the Eagles.

 

Jayvaughn Powell led TCC (13-7 overall, 2-0 in conference play) with 21 points and David Simmons added 19, with Daishon Smith scoring 17 points and Deion Bute 16. Cobe Goosby and Jeremy Harris both had 18 to lead Gulf Coast, with Donovan Franklin and Marshall Griffith adding 10 each.

 

While Powell led the Eagles in scoring, it was the work inside of Bute and Simmons – helping TCC to a 58-34 rebounding edge for the game – that Gulf Coast coach Jay Powell said was most responsible for the outcome.

 

“I fully believe the difference in the game was (Simmons and Bute),” he said. “They had some shooters who hit some shots, but I thought the way those two men scored and rebounded down low and kept balls alive was huge. They really set the tone with the tenacity and effort it takes to win a Panhandle Conference game. For some reason, our forwards and centers didn’t rise to that level tonight.”

 

Gulf Coast led 50-42 after a strong first half performance, but the game turned completely in the second 20 minutes, with the Commodores losing their offensive rhythm and the Eagles taking full advantage.

 

The Commodores didn’t score their first point of the second half until a running hook by Harris with 15:12 to play, but it didn’t prove to be much of a spark, as GC struggled to just four points in the first eight minutes after halftime.

 

TCC took advantage with an 18-4 run out of the locker room, with a three by Rashad Lewis giving the Eagles a 60-54 lead. Lewis followed with two more 3-pointers, one from each corner, to stake the Eagles to a 71-61 advantage with 8:49 to play.

 

Lewis’ third straight three and his fourth of the second half put TCC up 11, though Gulf Coast fought back with a 7-2 run capped by a three from Franklin to cut the lead to 76-70 with 6:13 left.

 

But a sequence involving a TCC offensive rebound on a missed free throw and a technical on Rodney Ross proved a killer for the Commodores.

 

Simmons went to the foul line with 5:50 remaining and made the first of two, with Bute gathering the miss on the second and drawing a foul on Ross, who batted the ball away in frustration and was whistled for the technical.

 

Powell made both technical free throws and Bute made his two for the foul to give the Eagles a five-point possession and an 81-70 lead with 5:48 to play.

 

A driving bucket by Goosby got Gulf Coast to within nine at 86-77 with 2:48 remaining, but the Commodores never got any closer the rest of the way.

 

The first half featured a much sharper Commodores team, with a 10-1 run capped by a jumper by Goosby making it 22-13 Commodores with 11:05 to halftime.

 

A three-point play by Van Johnson put Gulf Coast up 29-18, but TCC rallied back with some hot shooting of its own, including a pair of threes by Powell, to cut the lead to 37-34.

 

A nice back cut for a bucket by Austin Grimes cut the GC lead to one, but consecutive threes by Curtis Weathers, a stepback jumper by Harris, and a baseline shot by Ross completed a 10-2 run to give Gulf Coast a 50-41 lead with 1:48 to half.  

 

The Commodores scored just 31 points in the second half and much of that came after the Eagles had taken control of the game.

 

“You have to give TCC a lot of credit. They defended us very well,” Jay Powell said. “But we also missed some layups, threw the ball out of bounds in transition, and just left a lot of plays open that we’ve got to finish to win conference games.”

 

Gulf Coast will next travel to Niceville to take on Northwest Florida State on Saturday, while TCC will host Chipola on Saturday.

 

TALLAHASSEE (95)

Smith 5 6-9 17, Powell 4 11-11 21, Grimes 3 0-0 6, Dal Bon 0 0-0 0, Allen 1 0-2 2, Simmons 6 7-11 19, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Lewis 4 0-2 12, Bute 4 8-8 16, Prehay 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 32-43. 95.

 

GULF COAST (81)

De Souza 0 0-0 0, Goosby 5 8-9 18, Harris 8 0-0 18, Franklin 3 3-4 10, Ross 2 0-2 4, Spearman 0 2-5 2, Johnson 2 1-1 5, Tribble 0 0-0 0, Griffith 3 2-2 10, McGowens 2 1-2 5, Weathers 3 0-0 9. Totals: 28 17-25 81.

 

Halftime score: Gulf Coast 50, Tallahassee 42

3-point field goals: Gulf Coast 8 (Weathers 3, Griffith 2, Harris 2, Franklin), Tallahassee 7 (Lewis 4, Powell 2, Smith). Total fouls: Gulf Coast 28, Tallahassee 20. Technical fouls: Ross, Goosby, Powell. Fouled out: Goosby, Johnson. 

 

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