PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - With just three games remaining in the regular season, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs (16-4, 7-4) need to finish strong in order to secure a spot in the MACJC tournament.
Since starting out with 12 straight wins, Gulf Coast has gone 4-4 in the previous eight contests.
One of those wins came against the Pearl River Wildcats -- their opponent Thursday. The Bulldogs won 105-97 a few weeks ago in overtime.
"We expected Pearl River to be one of the best teams in the conference coming into the season and they've proven to be exactly that," Gulf Coast head coach Wendell Weathers said. "It's more balanced this year than it has been in a long time. There are seven or eight teams in this thing and anybody can beat you on a given night if you're not ready to play."
Case in point, two of the four losses by Gulf Coast have come against a team they are currently tied with in the South Division, the Southwest Bears.
Gulf Coast, Southwest and and East Central are all tied for third with a 7-4 conference record, while Jones County and Pearl River are tied for first with an 8-3 mark.
"When our team is focused, I'm not scared of any team," Gulf Coast sophomore Deshawn Jones said. "I'm scared of a fourth-seeded team more than a first-seeded team because we tend to play down to our competition sometimes."
The MGCCC and PRCC men will tip off Thursday in Perkinston at 7:30 p.m.