Josie Howell, Sports Editor
On Tuesday, Nov 5, the Gamecocks traveled to Dallas, Texas to face off against Southern Methodist University in their season opener, and while this was anyone’s game, the Gamecocks fell behind and came up short at the end with a final score of 74-65.
While SMU outshot the Gamecocks in the field, Jax State’s 31 percent three-point average out beat SMU’s 23 percent. The Gamecocks also outshot the Mustangs at the foul line with a 75 percent shooting average compared to SMU’s 68 percent. JSU’s main downfall throughout this game was turnovers. SMU scored 20 points just off of turnovers alone. The Gamecocks saw this same issue in their exhibition game against Montevallo the week before.
In the first quarter, there was some back and forth between both teams at the beginning of the half, but the Mustangs found themselves in the lead for the majority of the time. SMU was eventually able to gain a 10-point lead by the end of the half.
In the second half, the Gamecocks found themselves behind by as much as 18 points with a score of 33-51 at the 12-minute mark. At this point, the Gamecocks stayed determined and narrowed SMU’s lead as much as they could until the clock ran out. With two last successful free throws by sophomore De’Torrion Ware, the game came to a close with the Mustangs up by nine points.
Despite the loss, the Gamecocks still had players that shined on the court. Senior Jacara Cross and Ware both led the team with 13 points each. The Gamecocks also saw junior Kayne Henry score 10 points in his first game playing for Jacksonville State. Martin Roub, Derrick Cook, Marek Welsch and Elias Harden also played their first game for the Gamecocks in this matchup. Cross and Henry both lead the team in rebounds with eight each.
JSU will not be playing any of their OVC rivals until January 2, when they will face-off against Morehead State. Until then, fans can look forward to the Gamecocks playing big teams such as Purdue and Tennessee State.
The Gamecocks will be playing their first season home game Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Pete Mathews Coliseum. Tip off will start at 7:30 p.m. Fans can stream the game on ESPN plus or listen to the game on 91.9 FM WLJS or 97.9 WVOK.