JACKSONVILLE – JaQuail Townser’s 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in overtime lifted the Jacksonville State men’s basketball team to a thrilling 79-76 win over Winthrop at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Townser, who finished the game with a career-high 24 points, got the ball from senior Avery Moore on the right wing and then ran around a screen by senior Jamal Hunter to set up his game winner from the left side of the key. The shot lifted the Gamecocks (5-3) to their fifth win in a row and dropped the Eagles (3-3) back to .500 on the season.
The junior point guard from Alton, Ill., went 9-for-15 from the floor, dished three assists and swiped a pair of steals on a night where he led five JSU players with at least nine points.
Hunter used 11 points and 16 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season and the third of his career. Junior Jeremy Watson was two boards shy of a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds, his fifth-straight game with at least eight rebounds.
Senior Darion Rackley scored 16 points, 14 in the second half and overtime, while senior D. J. Felder added nine points. Both Rackley and Felder’s minutes were limited due to early foul trouble.
The Eagles got 22 points from Keon Johnson, who went 12-for-13 from the free throw line with a costly miss. After making his first 12 charity shots, his final one rimmed out with 11 seconds left in overtime to give JSU the final possession with the score tied 76-76.
JSU won the battle on the boards, 39-33, thanks in large part to Hunter and Watson, who combined for 24 of them. Tevin Prescott notched a double-double for the Eagles with 15 points and a team-high 11 boards.
A back-and-forth game, it saw 11 ties and 15 lead changes before the final one on Townser’s shot. It was the first time a Gamecocks sank a game winner in their final possession since Ronnie Boggs’s SportsCenter Top 10 tip in that downed UNC Asheville on Feb. 23, 2012.
The Gamecocks wrap up a perfect three-game homestand and will now travel to Montgomery for a Saturday matinee with Alabama State. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. in ASU’s Acadome.
~ JSU Sportswire