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No. 19 Pearl River drops hard-fought contest against Gulf Coast

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 19 Pearl River men's basketball team kept it close throughout but couldn't complete its come-from-behind effort against rival Gulf Coast Tuesday night inside Marvin R. White Coliseum, falling 85-79.

"We've just got to keep growing," head coach Chris Oney said. "Our scouting report was perfect, but we didn't follow it. We have to fix a few things. The most disappointing thing is giving up 85 points on your home floor. They just wanted it more.

"They came out on fire and were ready to play. We came out like we were still on Thanksgiving break."



Gulf Coast (3-4 overall) took an early 5-3 advantage before a forceful putback dunk from Ezereke Dawson Jr. (Plant City, Fla.) squared the game up at five apiece. 

Pearl River (5-2) briefly took the lead at the 14:42 mark as Cedquavious Hunter (Como; North Panola) plucked the ball away from an unsuspecting Bulldog and nailed a pull-up jumper. One play later, he knocked down another jump shot to make the score 11-8 Wildcats.

MGCCC fought back and retook the lead 21-20 and eventually stretched its lead out to nine points at 35-24. 

The Wildcats cut the deficit to just seven points in the final minutes of the first half. Dyllion Redmond (Jackson; Callaway) had possession of the ball with a defender nearby. David Combest Jr. (Hattiesburg; Forrest County) used the opportunity almost like it was a screen to get open. Redmond dished off to him, and he knocked down a jumper. On the following play, Hunter knocked down a 3-pointer with the help of a Redmond assist, sending the game into halftime at a 38-31 score.

Pearl River came out flat to begin the second half as the Bulldogs built out an 11-point 48-37 lead. Hunter cut the deficit to eight points seconds later as he nailed a 3-pointer in the corner with an assist from Austin Green (Sicklerville, N.J.; Timber Creek Regional).

Pearl River started to claw back into the contest with around 10 minutes remaining. Green earned back-to-back trips to the free-throw line, and all four of his shot attempts were true, making the score 59-53.

Green had two fantastic plays on the following Wildcat possessions. After a PRCC shot attempt clanked off the rim, Green tapped the ball back into the air and down for two points. Hunter did an incredible job of keeping the ball from going out of bounds and tossed it back to Green. He drove inside and laid it in through the contact, 63-57.

Pearl River pulled within two points when David Combest Jr. (Hattiesburg; Forrest County) dashed down the court and into the lane. With a defender draped all over him, the freshman laid the ball up for a score. The next play saw Hunter head fake to lose a defender and slash home a pull-up jumper, 65-63.

Pearl River continued to keep it close down the final stretch of the game as they remained two points down, 78-76, following a Davion James (Brandon; Northwest Rankin) corner 3-pointer, but Gulf Coast held on to its lead to come away with an 85-79 victory.



Green had yet another unreal night for the Wildcats, finishing with a season-high 27 points. He also added nine rebounds. Hunter was second on the team with 21 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists.

Dawson Jr. tallied 12 points and seven rebounds. Combest Jr. rounded out the Wildcats in double figures with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.



Pearl River hits the road Saturday to take on Region 23 foe Delgado. Tipoff in New Orleans, La. is at 2 p.m.


For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on X (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics). 


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