JSU wins quarterfinals of the ASUN Championships, advance to semifinals vs Liberty

Photo courtesy of JSU Athletics

Jo Mayo, Correspondent

On Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m., the JSU women’s basketball team played in the quarter-finals of the ASUN championships against the Jacksonville Dolphins. Because these athletes won the division, they hosted at the Pete Mathews Coliseum. The Gamecocks had a smooth and exciting win, constructing a score of 70-56 and adding another home win to the books.

Because Jacksonville State beat Jacksonville, they will move on to the semi-finals in the ASUN Championships. JSU plays Liberty at the Pete Mathews Coliseum on Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m. to see who will get to play in the championship game.

Kiana Johnson scored 19 points for a new season-high, and Kyra Williams scored 13 points, making this her career-high. Johnson was also the highest scorer out of both teams with a personal free throw percentage of 88%, making 7-8. She was 6-11 for field goal shots which led to her scoring this high.

JSU started strong, opening with a 4-0 lead thanks to Johnson’s layups. After a couple of missed shots and a turnover, Jacksonville took over the lead 6-4. This did not last long as JSU had a good 9-1 run including a three-pointer by Keiara Griffin. The first quarter ended with a fairly close score of 13-7. 

The players picked up their three-point shooting in the second quarter, making four total. Three of these were made almost back to back by Williams and Burnett. The other three-pointer was made closer to the end of the quarter by Martin. With great shooting in the paint combined with these points, the Gamecocks ended the half in the lead 32-20.

The Dolphins had a troubling start to the third quarter caused by the Gamecocks, including missed shots, a turnover, and a foul. Thompson made both of these free throws, starting the second half and a 14-2 run. The Gamecocks were 8-8 for free throws made by Thompson, Johnson, and Williams. A layup by Gavin sealed the quarter 53-30. 

In the final quarter of the contest, Jacksonville gained momentum and aimed at a comeback. The Dolphins outscored the Gamecocks 26-17 in the fourth, and they closed the score to 67-56. With only a couple of minutes left in the game and Jacksonville trying to come back, McCoy scored a layup for Jacksonville State, and Johnson made three free throws to relieve the fans and end the game with a 70-56 win.

Free throws are one aspect that helped JSU with the win. They were 8-8 in the third and 6-7 in the fourth, bringing up their free throw percentage to 81%. In addition, JSU shot 51 times in the paint and made 23 of them, making this 45.1% to the other team’s 38.9%.

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