Thomas Ashworth, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team defeated Murray State in Murray, Ky. on Thursday night, with a final score of 85-82.
The Gamecocks led 81-71 with 2:25 left on the clock. However, the Racers were able to slim the Gamecocks’ lead to two after scoring eight straight points. Despite the effort and drawing a foul near the end of the game, Darian Adams was fouled with seconds left on the clock, resulting in a close Gamecocks victory.
“We didn’t do a good job late in the game of taking care of the basketball,” Head Coach Ray Harper said. “We weren’t meeting passes and didn’t use pass fakes. If we take care of the ball in the last minute and half, that’s probably a 12- or 14-point game, but we didn’t. But give our guys credit. We had a lot of second- and third-effort plays tonight and we made free throws down the stretch.”
Leading the Gamecocks in points was Amanze Ngumezi, who scored 17 points and alo accounted for six rebounds. Jalen Finch posted a double-double, posting 15 points and 10 rebounds, along with six assists.
“Jalen Finch was good for us tonight,” Harper said. “We put the ball in his hands a lot just to make decisions and make plays.”
Darian Adams also made big contributions for the Gamecocks, accounting for 10 points and going a perfect 6-6 on free throws. Brandon Huffman posted 16 points and accounted for eight rebounds.
Murray State was led by Chico Carter Jr., who posted a team-high 21 points in 22 minutes of play, and KJ Williams, who posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Gamecocks return to Pete Mathews Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 28 to host Morehead State. Admission to all JSU home basketball contests is free to enrolled students with presented ID and children 12 and under. The game will be broadcast live on WLJS 91.9 FM, the student-run radio station of JSU, and streamed on ESPN+.