Preston Odam, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State University women’s basketball team lost their only home game of the season last Thursday to Murray State 78-75, but the Gamecocks were able to redeem themselves on Saturday, Feb. 27, beating Austin Peay 60-44 on Senior Day.
JSU entered the Murray State game tied for the sixteenth longest home winning streak in the nation with 11 consecutive wins dating back to last season. This home luck ran out as Murray State rattled off 53 second-half points to rally and defeat the Gamecocks 78-75.
Junior Yamia Johnson led the Gamecocks in scoring with her fifth 20-point game on the year. Senior Taylor Hawks dropped 17 points, while Keira Griffin and Jessie Day added eight points. Day also grabbed 11 rebounds, as Hawks followed her closely with 10 boards herself marking Hawks’ second-career double-double.
JSU entered the halftime intermission with a strong 35-25 lead over MSU. This lead did not last however, as the Racers came out blazing hot in the second half scoring 26 third quarter points.
The Gamecocks would not give up and kept fighting every step of the way eventually cutting the Racer lead 69-67 with two minutes left to play. Hawks drained a three with 2.2 seconds to play forcing the Gamecocks to immediately foul.
Murray hit the front end of the free throws but missed the second one on purpose forcing a last second half court heave that fell short for JSU. The final score was 78-75 Racers.
JSU looked to close the regular season on a high note and did as they defeated Austin Peay 60-44 on Senior Night. The Gamecocks look to take this winning momentum into this week’s Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Junior Yamia Johnson led the team in scoring in this game as well with 19 total points. Senior Taylor Hawks had a respectable 12 points that led her to becoming tied for fourth all-time in double-digit scoring games for the Lady Gamecocks with 57 total. Jessie Day pulled down a team high of 8 rebounds.
JSU took a 39-18 lead into halftime, but Austin Peay fought back by coming out of the half on a 12-2 run that eventually cut the Gamecock lead to 11. The Gamecock lead would eventually get all the way up to 17 again before the final score of 60-44.
The Gamecocks — and its senior class of Hawks, Day, Kiana Johnson and Jayla Walker — will now compete in the conference tournament this week.
“I’m excited. We’ve proven we can play with anybody in the league, so I’m just excited to get there,” said Hawks.
JSU earned the four seed in the tournament, meaning they will face the five seed Tennessee Tech today at 1 p.m. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+ and will broadcast on WLJS 91.9 FM, JSU’s student-run radio station.