Gamecocks fall to Central Arkansas, 72-62, in key conference matchup

Photo courtesy of Thomas Ashworth

Justin Travis, Correspondent

Returning back home after a short one game road trip, the men’s basketball team lost 72-62 in a hard fought game. Facing the same ASUN conference foe for the second time this season, Jacksonville State just came up short in the very physical battle.

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks (16-9) will play their next game on the road this Wednesday, February 16th, at 7:00 p.m. against the Lipscomb Bisons (10-16).

JSU had just three players in double digits, Kayne Henry had a nice double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the team was led in scoring by Darian Adams with 15.

With a 4:05 p.m. tip time, the Gamecocks came out of the gate running their patent half-court offense that led to two paint buckets early on. The Central Arkansas Bears had a sputtering start, which included two air balls and a blocked shot, but still had a three point lead after the first five minutes of play. The early action was clearly one that was being dominated by smothering defense by both teams. The Bears were the first of the teams to catch somewhat of a rhythm on offense taking a 22-12 lead, forcing a JSU timeout after the first 12 minutes of action.

 The next few minutes of play were much of the same, one tough and physical possession after the other for both teams. The first half ended with an exclamation point three by Darian Adams at the buzzer to cut a once double-digit lead down to nine at the half. The 32-23 score at half was greatly influenced by the 12-2 points off of turnover differential in favor of Central Arkansas. The Bears were led by Camren Hunter and Jared Chatham who both scored eight points. Jacksonville State on the other hand were led in scoring by guard Darian Adams with five. 

The second half start in Pete Mathews Coliseum was highlighted by a strong foul by Brandon Huffman on an offensive rebound that led to an official review. Luckily the referees found it as a common foul. That play woke up a more aggressive Gamecock team that started a team best 7-0 run early in the half to cut the score to 38-33. That run was capped by an emphatic transition dunk by Kayne Henry which fired up the crowd, forcing a Central Arkansas timeout after the first five minutes of action. The next couple of minutes saw the Gamecocks continue to cut into the lead, and eventually tie the game with a Demaree King three. 

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