JSU women’s basketball falls on first road trip of the season

Preston Odam, Correspondent

Jacksonville State’s women’s basketball team fell on the road at the hands of the Davidson Wildcats losing 58-69 on Sunday, Nov. 14. JSU now sits at 1-1 early in the season and the Wildcats picked up their first victory of the year making them 1-2. The Gamecocks’ slow start created a difficult hole to climb out of. Although JSU was close to a comeback multiple times during the game, the Wildcats’ always answered the Gamecocks’ runs which helped lead them to the win.

In the game three Gamecocks scored in double digits. Imari Martin led JSU in scoring with a game high 15 points. Shawnta Shaw had a career high of 13 points following closely behind Martin. Finally, Kiana Johnson added 10 points respectively. While Davidson barely won the rebound battle with 38 boards to JSU’s 37, Kennedy Gavin was able to grab a team high of 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks. This is the second game in a row Gavin has reached double figures in rebounds for JSU. Davidson shot a solid 44.6 percent from the field while JSU shot a disappointing 34.5 percent in the game.  

Davidson scored the opening bucket of the game 15 seconds into the game to gain a 2-0 lead. Martin was able to respond to the quick Wildcat bucket with a three pointer the next possession for the Gamecocks giving JSU the early lead 3-2. Davidson went on a 6-0 run after the two quick buckets to grab a 8-3 lead with a little over six minutes remaining in the opening period of the game. Keiara Griffin hit a jumper to cut the Wildcat lead to only three, however, Davidson answered the Gamecock bucket with an 8-2 run that would give the Wildcats a 16-7 advantage after the first quarter. 

For the first two minutes of the second quarter, defense was strong for both teams. Madison McCoy scored the first basket of the quarter for either team which cut the Davidson lead to seven, 9-16. Davidson would go another run gaining a double digit advantage of 22-9 before some essential free throws from Shaw and Kaiya Burnnett cut the Wildcat lead to nine, 22-13 with a little more than five and a half minutes remaining in the first half of the game. Davidson would extend their lead throughout the second quarter eventually gaining a 14 point lead with only 19 seconds remaining in the first half. Martin was able to connect on two important free throws prior to the halftime break cutting the Davidson lead to 12, 32-20. 

To open the third quarter and the second half, JSU came out on fire going on a 13-2 run that would cut the deficit to only one, 34-33 with 6:24 remaining in the third period. Davidson pushed their lead to six before Martin hit another three for the Gamecocks to cut the lead to 36-39 for the Wildcats. Davidson went on a run of their own to close the third quarter. The Wildcats scored 11 points to only four from JSU to gain a 50-40 lead entering the final quarter of play. 

JSU was able to come out on a 6-0 run of their own to kick off the fourth quarter with Kiana Johnson scoring 4 of the 6. Johnson hit a jumper with 7:14 remaining in regulation to trim the Davidson lead to 52-50. Davidson responded with a run of their own in the ensuing six minutes of play scoring 12 points to JSU’s 4 to extend their lead 65-54. Johnson hit a layup that got the Gamecocks within single digits, 65-56, with 1:09 left in the game. After a Davidson three pointer, Shaw hit a layup late in the game, but the basket was not enough as Davidson would claim the victory, winning 69-58. 

JSU will now go on an extended stretch of road games before returning to the Pete Mathews Coliseum Nov. 30. The next game for the Gamecocks is slated for a matchup with in-state foe Samford University on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Tip off for this game is set for 6 p.m. at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Fans can stream the game live on ESPN+.

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