Tag: Basketball

JSU sneaks in last minute win over Lipscomb

Josie Howell, Sports Editor                     

On Tuesday, November 12, the Jacksonville State University women’s basketball team faced off against Lipscomb University, who eventually fell to the Gamecocks with a close final score of 65-63. While Lipscomb was in the lead for most of this matchup, JSU closely trailed behind, taking the lead or tying the score multiple times throughout the game.

Continue reading “JSU sneaks in last minute win over Lipscomb”

Men’s basketball begins practice for upcoming season

Josie HowellSports Editor

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, Gamecock fans were excited to find out that basketball season was right around the corner when they learned that the men’s basketball team had officially began practice for the 2019-2020 season. The Gamecocks road came to an end last season in the OVC Championship semi-finals. This matchup was a nailbiter against Murray State that ended in a score of 74-76. 

The Gamecocks finished with an OVC record of 15-3 and an impressive overall record of 24-9. This was their third year in a row with a 20-win record. 

They hope to continue this streak in the upcoming season. With players from last year’s successful season and new talent added to the 2019-2020 roster, the Gamecocks have an exciting year ahead of them. 

“The team is fairly new, we have a lot of transfers and a lot of freshmen. They have been great [so far]. We don’t have to coach attitude or anything like that,” said Head Coach Ray Harper.

Players returning from the 2018-2019 season include starter and redshirt senior Ty Hudson, senior Jacara Cross, redshirt junior Derek St. Hilaire and sophomores Maros Zeliznak and De‘Torrion Ware. The team is looking up to seniors Hudson and Cross to lead the team this season.

“Jacara has been in the program for four years, and Ty has been with us now for three,” said Harper. “These guys have done it and know what our expectations are. Ty has been terrific. I couldn’t ask for any more out of him, and Jacara is primed for a big senior year. He has played well for us, behind the some really good players at that position, and now it’s his turn.”

Last season, Hudson brought in over 800 minutes of playing time and started in all 33 games of the season, being the only member of the team to do so. He also ranked second in assists with a total of 89, came in third on his team in points with 323 and ended the season with 28 double-digit scoring games.

Cross started five games and appeared in all 33 in the 2018-2019 season. He was one of just four Gamecocks to appear in all 33 games. Cross also had an impressive .697 shooting percentage for the season and an average of 4.1 points per game.

Out of the eight players added to the Gamecocks 2019-2020 roster, a few to keep an eye out for are junior guard Derrick Cook, junior guard/forward Kayne Henry and junior forward Martin Roub who is an incredible six feet and ten inches tall. While all of the new players added to the team have undeniable talent, these are the players that have impressive stats from their career prior to JSU.

Cook is a transfer from Georgia Highlands College in Rome Georgia. He averaged 13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4 assists per contest in the 31 games of the 2018-2019 season. He recorded double-digit points in 25 matchups and scored 20 or more points on four different occasions.

Henry is a Northwest Florida State transfer who appeared in 31 games for the Raiders, shooting an impressive 50.8 percent and 40 percent from 3-point range, averaging 5.7 points per game. Henry also recorded 2.5 rebounds per game and blocked 15 shots for the 2018-2019 season.

Roub is a Czech Republic native who transferred from Western Nebraska. He started 31 of 32 games as a sophomore with the Cougars. He totaled an impressive 538 points and averaged 31.8 minutes per game in the 2018-2019 season. Roub also scored a career-high 29 points against Laramie County Community College.

The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team will host their exhibition game at the Pete Mathews Coliseum against the Montevallo Falcons on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. 

For those who want to keep up with the action but cannot attend can tune into 91.9 WLJS FM and listen to Mike Parris give a live play-by-play of the game.

‘Focused’ Gamecocks blow out TSU

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JSU Athletics

Daniel Mayes , Editor-in-Chief

JACKSONVILLE — Because of a crowded top of the OVC, every game carries major seeding implications for the Jacksonville State men’s basketball team these days.

And the Gamecocks played like they had that in mind Saturday night in an 84-65 win over Tennessee State.

Against a Tigers team from the bottom half of the standings, JSU came out with a smothering intensity on both ends of the floor, sprinting out to a double-digit lead before Tennessee State reached double-digits themselves.

“The past two weeks, after the UT Martin loss, We’ve had a different focus in practice and in warmups. Our focus has been better,” senior forward Jason Burnell said. “The three games we’ve lost have been due to lack of focus and we didn’t get off to a great start, but lately we’ve been playing good defensively early and getting back to our identity.”

Jacksonville State (19-8, 11-3 OVC) is tied for third in the league standings with Austin Peay. Belmont and Murray State are tied for first as both have 12-2 OVC records.

Against Tennessee State, the Gamecocks got off to a great start and played good defensively as they raced to a 37-20 halftime lead, which was punctuated by a Jamall Gregory dunk off an alley-oop pass.

The Gamecocks kept cruising through the second half.

Burnell had a big night, even outscoring Tennessee State (8-18, 5-9) by himself 13-12 at one point late in the first half. The senior leader for the Gamecocks finished with 30 points, tying his career-high mark set against Belmont in January.

What to know

—After struggling to hit 3-pointers in recent games, the Gamecocks came alive from behind the arc Saturday night. JSU knocked down seven of their 17 shots from 3-point range to give its offense a boost.

—Gregory helped Burnell propel the Gamecocks’ offense, scoring 13. Christian Cunningham finished with a near-double-double with seven points and nine rebounds.

—Stokely Chaffee Jr. led Tennessee State with 17 points, while Tripp Davis and Kamar McKnight both scored 12.

Who said

—Harper on the win: “Our focus is the same as it always is. Just be focused and get better each day. I thought we did that all week as a team. We prepared the right way.”

—Harper on Burnell: “He’s really good when he’s locked in and playing at that level like he has been the past couple games. We’ve got to continue to have guys like that step up.”

—Burnell on his career-high tying performance: “I felt like I had the hot hand, and my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball and making shots to take the attention off of me.

Next up

—The Gamecocks will play the second of three straight home games Thursday night as Jacksonville State hosts Morehead State. The Gamecocks will finish their home slate for the season the following Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.

Hawks beats the buzzer and Tennessee State

(JSU Athletics)

Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief

JACKSONVILLE — Rarely does a basketball game give you one buzzer-beater, but the Jacksonville State women used two of them to win 76-73 over Tennessee State in overtime Saturday.

After Destiney Elliott hit a layup with just 0.3 on the clock in regulation to take the game to overtime, Taylor Hawks pulled up from about 35 feet to drill a game winner as the buzzer sounded in the extra period.

“It’s a big-time shot,” JSU coach Rick Pietri of Hawks’ buzzer-beater. “They pressed us with 5.9 to go, and it forced us to make a long-range heave, and it was just a big-time shot. When you’re trying to get wins this late in the season, you need players to make big plays for you.”

Hawks, who missed two free throws at the end of regulation that would have tied it, took advantage of Elliott’s late-game heroics to get a chance at redemption. This time she cashed in.

“Missing both of those was big, because if she had made even one, it changes everything,” Pietri said. “She’ll sleep a whole lot easier tonight finishing with that memory instead of the other memory.”

Hawks’ impact wasn’t just felt at the buzzer. The sophomore point guard scored 10 of her 20 total points in the overtime period. Bookending the period with a three to start off JSU’s scoring.

The game-winning shot might be the turning point for a Gamecock season on the brink.

Jacksonville State came into the game at ninth in the standings in a conference that only takes eight teams to its postseason tournament. The Gamecocks are now tied with SIUE and Murray State for the seventh spot, with a game against SIUE still on the schedule for JSU.

What to know

—Elliott, like Hawks, made her impact on the game well before her late heroics. The senior scored just three points in the first half, but came alive for eight points in the third quarter to save a struggling Gamecock offense. Elliott finished with 17 points and tied with Rayven Pearson with five rebounds to lead JSU.

—With the win, the Gamecocks secured their fifth straight victory over Tennessee State. They defeated the Tigers 62-52 on the road earlier this season. The last time TSU beat Pietri’s JSU squad was Jan. 21, 2017, when the Gamecocks fell 64-51 on the road.

—Taylor Roberts had a big night for Tennessee State, keeping pressure on JSU as they made their comeback. Roberts hit five of her six shots in the first half on her way to a game-high 27 points, including the free throws that tied the game before Hawks’ game-winner.

Who said

—Pietri on the win: “At this stage of the season, every game you play is enormous. Winning a game like that is huge in terms of catching up to the teams that are ahead of us. You can’t catch them if you don’t win.”

—Pietri on the Hawks shot: “The thing about that kind of a play, is you don’t forget that for the rest of your life. That’s a memory that we’ll have forever. I’m glad for us we got to experience the positive end of that.”

Next up

—The Gamecocks continue a three-game home stand Thursday at 5:15 p.m., as Jacksonville State will play Morehead State. JSU will conclude its home schedule for 2018-19 next Saturday when the Gamecocks host Eastern Kentucky on Senior Day.