Lady Gamecocks rally but fall short at Austin Peay

JSU women’s basketball lost to Austin Peay on the road Saturday. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)JSU women’s basketball lost to Austin Peay on the road Saturday. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)

Preston Odam, Correspondent  

Jacksonville State women’s basketball failed to pick up a win on the road Saturday, falling 61-51 against Austin Peay despite a valiant effort at a late game comeback.

Jacksonville State entered the weekend road trip with a chance at being tied for first place overall in the conference, but will now be anywhere from fifth to seventh place after this weekend. 

The shooting struggles carried over from Thursday’s Murray State game for the Gamecocks as they shot 23.1% from 3-point range and only 29.5% from the field. The shooting struggles even affected the Gamecocks foul shots as they were able to only sink 12 of the 21 attempted during the game. This amounted to the team’s second-lowest scoring total of the entire season. 

Junior guard Yamia Johnson, who has been the Gamecocks most consistent performer this season, did not get going until the second half but still led the Gamecocks with 16 points and seven rebounds. 

Senior Kiana Johnson joined Yamia in scoring double figures scoring 10 points. Taylor Hawks scored 9 points and made five of her attempted free throws. 

JSU entered the halftime break trailing the Governors 35-18. Kiana Johnson was able to open up the second half with a little momentum for the Gamecocks by hitting a quick lay-up cutting the Austin Peay lead to 15. This bucket turned the table a bit as JSU slowly but surely crept and clawed right back into the game. 

The Gamecocks were able to go on a 9-0 scoring run that brought the Austin Peay lead down to only six points before the end of the third quarter. This run was brought to a halt after the top scorer for the Governors, Maggie Knowles, hit a three pointer as time expired in the third period. 

Entering the fourth, the Gamecocks were still feeling confident that they had the ability and opportunity to achieve a huge comeback victory. 

JSU was able to cut the Austin Peay lead to three points with under five minutes remaining in regulation. The Governors were able to knock down a dagger of a three that crushed the momentum the Gamecocks were gaining. 

This momentum swing was enough for the Governors to hold off the Gamecocks and end the game winning 61-51 on their home court. 

The Gamecocks have been thriving this season shooting beyond the arc. However, in this weekend’s road trip JSU was only able to knock down 6 total in two games. The Gamecocks lost two back-to-back conference games for the first time all season. 

JSU is now 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

Three JSU women’s basketball games — Morehead State this evening, Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Tuesday — were postponed due to OVC COVID-19 protocols, JSU athletics announced on Wednesday. No new dates for the contests have been announced.

The next game on the schedule for the Lady Gamecocks is against UT Martin on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m., which will be streamed on ESPN+ and WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station.

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