After taking care of business against Southeast Missouri on Wednesday, the Gamecocks would take a 67-47 loss against reigning OVC Champs, UT Martin.
It was an evenly matched battle in scoring for most of the first half with 25 points on the Gamecocks end, and 28 for the Skyhawks of UTM. It was in the second half where UT Martin managed to pull away as they scored 39 to Jacksonville State’s 22 to put the game away.
After a quick first score, the Gamecocks appeared ready to play. They took the lead early and held on to it until UTM took it away by one with around 15:40 left in the first half.
UTM’s Haley Howard turned the ball over at 12:33, and then, Jacksonville Sate’s Gretchen Morrison took it for two back-to-back three-pointers. Kelly Naughton would then score again to push the Gamecocks’ lead out to seven.
The game would then go on to be tied three times before the end of the first half with JSU only having the lead once more before halftime. UTM would go into the locker room with a 28-25 lead over JSU.
The Gamecocks were 11 of 30 for field goals taken in the first half, which was nearly matched with UT Martin’s 12 of 31. There were also 14 3-pointers taken between the two teams and only three were made. Two of them came from the Gamecocks’ side.
It was the second half where the Skyhawks would put space between themselves and the Gamecocks. They were already ahead as they came out of the half and would not surrender that lead the entire second half.
While the Gamecocks did score, they could never come back from being down so low. UTM managed to stay ahead by at least 15 from the 13-minute mark until the end of the game.
After several last ditch efforts to make up some extra points by the Gamecocks the game ended and the final score read 67-47.
Despite the loss, the game proved effective for Destany McLin who scored a team high 12 points. Morrison also had her two successful three-point attempts that were a help in giving JSU the lead early on in the game.
The loss dropped the Gamecocks to 12-6 and 3-3 in conference play. They remain much improved from this time a year ago where they had only won six games. They sit just above their next opponent, Belmont, in the OVC standings. They will play the Bruins Jan. 21 in Nashville.