George Meehan, Correspondent
On Saturday, February 29, the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks finished off their regular season with a 64-61 victory over Tennessee Tech on Senior night where they clinched the fifth seed in the OVC Tournament. This was the last regular season game for seniors Chloe Long, Destiney Elliott and Brittany Webster.
The Gamecocks led the majority of the game with as much as nine points over the Golden Eagles in the third quarter. However, the Gamecocks found themselves behind by five points with less than four minutes left in the second quarter, but were able to keep the lead once they recovered and finished the game with a win.
Tennessee Tech’s bench was able to outscore the Gamecocks bench 37-22 and also out rebounded the Gamecocks bench 33-28. The Gamecocks finished with five steals and forced 11 turnovers. They also gave up only one steal and turned the ball over seven times.
Overall, the Gamecocks scored 40 points in the paint, where the Golden Eagles finished with 20 points in the paint. JSU also scored 17 points off of turnovers compared to Tennessee Tech’s 10 points off of turnovers.
Junior Kiana Johnson led all scorers dropping a career high 19 points and seven rebounds followed by Destiney Elliott with 12 points and seven boards. Nekiyah Thompson, Chloe Long and Kiana Johnson each finished with two assists.
Brittany Webster scored four points that each came in the third quarter and helped keep Gamecocks at a six point lead over the Golden Eagles. Elliot was the second leading scorer finishing with 12 points. Meanwhile, Chloe Long contributed by claiming five boards and six points.
The Gamecocks shot 43 percent from the field making 27 of their 62 shot attempts. They also shot 20 percent from behind the arc making three of their 15 attempts while also shooting 70 percent from the free throw line, successfully making seven out of 10 shots from the line.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles shot at only 36 percent from the floor making 19 of their 52 attempts. They were also only able to make five for 19 from behind the arc averaging 26 percent. However, the Golden Eagles shot at a respectable 78 percent from the free throw line making 18 of their 23 free throws, which is ultimately what kept them in the game.
Anacia Wilkinson led the Golden Eagles with 19 points, followed by Kesha Brady who finished with 11. Abby Buckner led the team with 11 boards followed by Wilkinson who finished with seven rebounds. Akia Harris finished with a team high three assists.
The OVC Tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 4. The Gamecocks will play Eastern Illinois on Thursday, March 5, at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks faced the Panthers once this season and lost by three in their only meeting.
The Panthers are the No. four seed in the OVC Tournament. A win against the Panthers would mean they would face the winner of the UT-Martin-Murray State game on Friday, March 6 at 1 p.m.