Jax State defeats comeback over EKU

Junior guard Taylor Hawks dribbling the ball down the court. (Courtesy of JSU)Junior guard Taylor Hawks dribbling the ball down the court. (Courtesy of JSU)

Josie Howell, Sports Editor

Jacksonville State University came out victorious in Saturday’s game against Eastern Kentucky with a final score of 43-33.

While the Gamecocks started out slow in the first half, they came back stronger in the second, eventually sealing the game with a win. 

This was the Lady Gamecocks’ ninth win of the season. This brings their overall record to 5-8 and their OVC record to 1-1.

This matchup was a game of defense, with both teams struggling to get the ball in the basket. This game produced the fewest total scored points in a game in the program’s history with just a total of 76 points for the game.

Things started very slow early in the game for JSU, shooting 2-for-15 from the field and 0-for-9 from the three-point line in the first quarter. Overall, the Gamecocks scored only four points in the first-quarter compared to Eastern Kentucky’s 12 points. 

The Gamecocks came back both offensively and defensively in the second quarter with Jax State bringing in another 15 points, while Eastern Kentucky only managed another six points. The game went into half-time with 19-18 on the scoreboard, with the Gamecocks just one point ahead.

Coming into the second half, the Gamecocks continued to play hard defense and made sure that Eastern Kentucky never reached double-digit points for either of the last two quarters. While EKU came up short, they also played undeniable defense. 

The Gamecocks only came up with 11 points over EKU’s nine in the third quarter and 13 over the Coronel’s six points in the final quarter of the matchup. The game came to a close with a nine-point scoring run by the Gamecocks with just five minutes left in the matchup, followed by one last lay-up by Eastern Kentucky that put the game to an end.

Junior Kiana Johnson led the Gamecocks in points scored with 13 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Junior Taylor Hawks also scored double-digit points for the Gamecocks with a total of 10 points for this matchup. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Chloe Long led the team defensively as she pulled down a season-high of 12 rebounds, just two behind her career high of 14.

Redshirt freshman Karleigh Sledge came off of the bench strong and finished the game with a total of five rebounds, four points and two steals. With 18 minutes off of the bench, this was her most playing time of the season so far.

The Gamecocks will be hosting OVC rivals Murray State and Austin Peay at the Pete Mathews Coliseum. JSU will be playing Murray State today, January 9, at 5 p.m. and Austin Peay the following Saturday, January 11, at 1:45 p.m. Fans can stream both games on the ESPN Plus app or listen to the games live on 91.9 FM WLJS.

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