The JSU women snapped their two-game conference losing streak by beating Murray State Saturday afternoon in front of the home crowd at Pete Mathews.
The win gave the Gamecocks an 11-5 overall record with a 2-2 conference record and left the Racers of Murray State with still no wins in the OVC. However, the win did not come easy for JSU as they were forced to fight in overtime for their 78-73 victory.
Murray State jumped out to the early lead as JSU would only have two lone points before they took an impressive 13-2 run and claimed the lead for themselves. Once JSU caught up to the Racers, the game would go back-and-forth between the two teams until the tie at 22 with 8:29 left in the half. After a missed three-pointer from MSU, the Gamecocks made a three-point shot on the arm of Gretchen Morrison. The shot put JSU up by three and prompted an 18-8 run by the Gamecocks over the last part of the half. They would go into the locker room with a 43-30 lead over the Racers.
The 43 points that were scored by the Gamecocks in the first half is the most in a half for Rick Pietri’s team.
Despite JSU’s success in the first half, the MSU Racers were not out for the count. They came out ready to fight the Gamecocks to the bitter end.
By the time nearly four minutes had dwindled off the second half clock, JSU had a 20-point lead and what seemed like the upper hand. But, MSU was not finished. After Leasia Wright made a three-pointer at 16:28, the Racers would go on an 18-2 run and cut Jacksonville State’s lead to one with 9:43 left in the game.
Another three minutes ticked away and JSU had managed to push their lead back out to 11 with a 67-56 score.
The Racers scored 11 unanswered to tie it up at 67 and send the game into overtime after the final two minutes dwindled down without another score.
The Gamecocks and the Racers would battle for the lead for the most of overtime before JSU grabbed a three point lead with 1:40 left. Briana Benson nailed two free-throws and successfully put JSU ahead by five with 17 seconds left. Despite attempts made by MSU, they could not score again and the Gamecocks would win 78-73.
Candace Morton shined in overtime as seven of the 11 JSU points that were scored belonged to her. Benson and Morrison had six three-pointers made between the two of them, while Leah Strain made both of the ones she took. Morton also led the team in scoring as she had 21 points on the night. Benson was next with 15 and Destany McLin had 12.
The Gamecocks will play Southeast Missouri next on Jan. 14 at Pete Mathews.