Stephen Duke, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team continued their red hot start with a big 70-41 win over the Tennessee State Tigers on Thursday.
The win was sparked by several upperclassmen making crucial impacts for the team.
Junior Yamia Johnson went off, scoring a season-high 29, which neared her career high of 32. She hit eight three-pointers and reeled in 10 rebounds, resulting in her first double-double.
Senior Jesse Day hit her first five shots. She was 4-of-4 from behind the three-point line and etched a new career-high of 15 points. Kiana Johnson also contributed 12 points in the game for her third straight double digit outing.
Johnson got the scoring going early and often for the Gamecocks with 12 points in the first quarter. By the end of the first, JSU held a 24-14 lead over the visiting Tigers. As the game progressed through the second quarter, the Gamecocks continued to execute at a high level, taking a 41-24 lead into the locker room.
The Gamecocks continued to pour it on in the third quarter, shooting at a high-level (73 percent) throughout the quarter. With the game pretty well decided, JSU began the fourth with a big 61-36 lead. After a very defensive fourth quarter, the Gamecocks came out with the 70-41 win over the winless Tigers.
Throughout the game, the Gamecocks played with several different lineups, which gave several players an opportunity to show what they’re made of and what they can contribute to this team.
Junior Kennedy Gavin, a newcomer to the team, contributed a season-high six points alongside nine rebounds in the victory. Jacksonville native Kyra Williams got an opportunity to show her hometown what she is made of at the college ranks.
The Gamecocks have now won six consecutive home games and five consecutive overall, the longest in four years.
With the win, the Gamecocks sit at 7-2 (4-1 in OVC), which is their best start to a season since joining the Division I ranks back in 1995. The hot start to the season has the Gamecocks sitting at second place in the current OVC standings.
While the Gamecocks expected to play Belmont Saturday, that game was postponed as a result of COVID-19 protocols.
The Gamecocks instead continue their march toward a historic season for the program today when they travel to face off against Murray State in Murray, Ky. at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station, and available to stream on ESPN+.