Following Jacksonville State’s women’s basketball team 67-65 victory over Alcorn State, where they had to battle back from being down 12 points, both JSU and Samford men looked to finish the night with a ‘W’. However, Jacksonville State (3-7) fell 77-71 to in-state rival Samford University (6-2) at ‘The Pete’ for their 89th meeting on the hardwood on Tuesday, the first since 2008.
Samford struck first when Darius Jones-Gibson was able to get a layup. The Gamecocks didn’t allow the Bulldogs to keep the lead for long, however. Christian Cunningham went up for a one-handed dunk to bring the game back to a tie.
Jacksonville State was constantly maintaining a two-to-three point deficit, but at the 13:47 mark, the Gamecocks were briefly able to take the lead. Cam Biedscheid was able to tie the game at 10, and then make a free throw to give Jax State a one-point lead.
The Bulldogs quickly turned Jax State’s lead into an eight-point deficit. The Gamecocks were not able to score again until Cunningham was able to knock down a couple of free throws.
With 7:19 left in the first half, Jacksonville State cut their deficit in half to only four points. The Gamecocks were once again able to take the lead at 24-23 on a three-pointer by Malcolm Drumwright, but Samford would not go down easily. After trading the lead for a brief period, the Bulldogs shot to a 31-29 lead.
Going into half time, the Gamecocks’ Erik Durham hit a three-pointer just as the buzzer went off to bring the team three points of Samford’s 37.
During the first half, JSU shot 41 percent from the field compared to the Bulldogs’ 40 percent.
Samford came out of the locker room ready to take on the second half. At the 15-minute mark, Jax State were able to score seven points, but the Bulldogs’ scored 12 to bring the score to 49-41.
After a short three-point contest with Biedscheid, Drumwright and Samford’s Jamal Shabazz, the Gamecocks were able to bring the score to a more manageable 52-49.
Jax State was down 74-71 with 18.8 seconds to go, but the two made free throws and layup by the Bulldogs’ Jones-Gibson proved to be the nail in the coffin for Jacksonville State.
Drumwright led the team with 21 points. He also had four assist and two rebounds. JaQuail Townser led the team with six rebounds and five assist. Cunningham and Biedscheid both scored 14 points.
Jacksonville led the game with a 45 percent shooting efficiency. Samford shot 37 percent. Jacksonville had the lead in the game for 1:28. The game was tied for 3:26, and the Bulldogs led for 25:06.
On Saturday, JSU will remain at home when they host Florida’s Jacksonville University. The Dolphins have gotten off to a slow 2-5 start on the season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Pete Mathews Coliseum.