Despite having to postpone Saturday’s match up until Sunday because of a blizzard in Morehead, Ky., the Gamecocks (8-15, 4-4 OVC) came home with a 78-74 win over Morehead State (10-9, 4-3 OVC).
Jacksonville State came into the match up on a 2-1 run after losing to Murray State.
A 14-point victory over Southeast Missouri State, followed by a 22-point victory of UT Martin before loosing by 3 to Eastern Kentucky showed that Jacksonville State still had some life left in them.
Malcolm Drumwright scored the first point for Jacksonville State.
A foul by the Eagles’ Ronnyne Beamon sent Drumwright to the line where he was able to knock on down. Morehead State would then take the lead with a layup by Anthony Elechi. This one-point lead would be the only lead the Eagles would have in the contest. Erik Durham would regain the lead for the Gamecocks with a good shot from beyond the arch.
Jax State had a comfortable lead going into half time 41-28, and had as much as a 20-point lead during the half.
Before heading to the locker rooms, the Gamecocks boasted a 58.3 field goal shooting percent, a monstrous 71.4 three-point field goal percent and a solid 50 free-throw percent. Durham was six for seven attempts in field goals, and five for six at three-point attempts. Morehead State came out of the locker rooms refreshed and ready to play.
They began to slowly chip away at the Gamecocks lead, and brought the game within one with an Elechi free-throw 62-61 with 4:25 left in the contest.
Greg Tucker and the Gamecocks would not give up, however.
Despite only being two for three in field goal shooting during the second half, he was able to make all nine of his second half free throws to keep Jacksonville State alive in the match up. With a minute left in regulation the Gamecocks were up by eight.
Morehead State’s Xavier Moon and Lyonell Gaines and Elechi tried to battle back to force an overtime opportunity, but the defense played by Jacksonville State proved to be too much. The Gamecocks won by four, 78-74.
Tucker had 24 points; he was 9-5 on field goal attempted, 4-3 on three point field goals attempted and was 13-11 on free throw attempts. Tucker also had two defensive rebounds. Durham had 20 points; he was 7-9 on field goals attempted, and 8-6 on three point field goals attempted.
Andre Statam had 11 points; he was 6-4 on field goals attempted, and was 5-3 on three point field goals attempted.
Jeremy Watson was 4-4 on free throws attempted. He also had three offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds. Drumwright had 13 points and was 8-5 on free throw attempts. Christian Cunningham had one offensive rebound and had two defensive rebounds. Darion Rackley made all four of his free throws attempted. Jared Hamilton had two defensive rebounds. The Gamecocks return home to face Belmont on Thursday January 28th, at 7 p.m.
They will then face Tennessee State on Saturday January 30th at 4:30 p.m. at Pete Mathews Coliseum.