JSU women’s basketball defeats Georgia Southern in home opener

JSU women’s basketball team defeated the Eagles in their first game of the season on Thanksgiving Eve. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)JSU women’s basketball team defeated the Eagles in their first game of the season on Thanksgiving Eve. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)

Jamerious Borden, Correspondent

The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team defeated the Georgia Southern Eagles 70-58 at Pete Mathews Coliseum on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Although the Gamecocks (1-0) showed a few signs of rust, this did not stop the women’s basketball team from pushing themselves to proclaiming a hard-fought victory. 

A fresh new lineup kept a miraculous rhythm going, with the Gamecocks running up-and-down the floor for 75 attempts, 43 rebounds, scored 21 points off turnovers, plus assisting on 14 baskets made. 

In addition, the lady Gamecocks remain undefeated at 6-0 on their home floor against the Eagles (0-1). 

True freshman Keiara Griffin made the starting lineup in her first appearance while rocking the red and white. 

Additionally, five other Gamecocks made their debuts in juniors: Imari Martin, Kennedy Gavin, Kaiya Burnett, Kyra Williams and redshirt sophomore Regan Dargan. The fresh faces accounted for 15 points, led by Martin’s eight off the bench. 

Redshirt-junior transfer Gavin, was the only Gamecock with double-digit rebounds, finishing with 10 to set a new career high for her collegiate career. 

Along with the newcomers making a marvelous first impression, JSU’s veterans led the way for head coach Rick Pietri and the bunch. 

Junior Yamia Johnson’s 16 points plus Senior Taylor Hawk’s 10 points helped lead the way including sophomore guards Nekiyah Thompson and Winnie Kuimi combined for 17 points total. 

Georgia Southern led 4-2 before Johnson and Hawks combined three straight triples to help JSU take an 11-4 lead. This team hung in there, showing perseverance as they tie a program record of 45 attempts beyond the arc. A previous mark was set earlier at Eastern Illinois on Jan. 16.

JSU led 20-8 during the next period. However, the Eagles made a stunning comeback during the second quarter making JSU trail with a 4-point deficit making the score 25-21. Then, Senior Kiana Johnson powered up and helped send the Gamecocks into halftime with the score of 34-24, outscoring the Eagles 9-3.

Following a few free throws, the Eagles shortened the lead back to four with over six minutes to play in the third, but JSU found a way to finish the third quarter on a 15-6 run leading into the fourth quarter. 

In the end, JSU ran away with a 30-10 run with a little over 10 minutes remaining, basically running deep in the final period making the lead 66-42 with the Gamecocks leading by 24. Though JSU’s offense did not score within the final two minutes of the game, the Eagles pushed and fought until the end making the final score 70-58. 

The lady Gamecocks’ game against Tennessee Tech on Thursday was postponed. A make-up date has not been announced. The team is set to face off against New Orleans in the Pete Mathews Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+.

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