Gamecocks rally late to defeat Tennessee State

Last Thursday’s game against Tennessee State ended in victory for the men’s basketball team. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)Last Thursday’s game against Tennessee State ended in victory for the men’s basketball team. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)

Thomas Ashworth, Correspondent

The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team snapped its two-game losing skid in a win over Tennessee State on Thursday.

Through a majority of the game, the Gamecocks were behind but managed to pull through for a 65-64 victory. Tennessee State led from the time Tennessee State guard Marcus Fitzgerald hit a 3-pointer on his first shot almost two minutes into the game all the way until the last five seconds of the game, aside from a one point lead during the second half.

“Give our kids credit,” JSU coach Ray Harper said. “We fought. We were down four… and we find a way to execute and finish it off.”

In the last six seconds of the game, Guard Darian Adams threw a pass to Brandon Huffman, who scored the winning points with 5.9 seconds left. Tennessee State tried to get a last second basket but came up short.

“When they came to me, I was focused on scoring,” Huffman said. “I kind of hung on it, making sure I put it in because it was a late-game situation.”

Brandon Huffman finished the game with a season-high 17 points and five rebounds. In the last three games for the Gamecocks, the North Carolina transfer has averaged 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.

Guard Darian Adams tied his career high with 21 points. Adams also accounted for a team-leading eight rebounds and two steals. 

“He’s just a good basketball player,” Harper said. “He’s got a good feel. Early, he probably would’ve taken that shot, but he trusts Huffman. That says a lot. We were just going to get it in his hands and let him play. He read what was open and made the right play.”

With the postponement of the Gamecocks’ game against Southern Illinois, their next game will be against 5-6 Murray State in Murray, Ky at 7:30 p.m. today. The game will be broadcast live on WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station, and available to stream on ESPN+.

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