Tag: Briana Benson

Women’s basketball falls to Morehead State

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Leah Strain (2) drives past Morehead State’s Darianne Seward during a game on January 28, 2017. The Gamecocks fell to the Eagles on Saturday to end their 2016-17 season. (Katy Nowak/JSU)

Daniel Mayes, Staff Reporter

The Jacksonville State University women’s basketball team wrapped up their 2016-17 season on Saturday after an 85-82 loss to Morehead State left the Gamecocks just short of a berth in the OVC tournament.

JSU led by as many as 12 at one point over MSU, but the Eagles recovered to knock off the hot-shooting Gamecocks.

Jacksonville State, who finished the year at 13-15, including 6-10 in the Ohio Valley Conference, played their best basketball to finish off the season, winning three straight OVC contests by double digits prior to the loss to Morehead on Saturday, but their late push was not enough to extend their season.

Seniors starred in what would be their final game in a Gamecock uniform, as Briana Benson led the way with 21 points, Lacey Buchanon chipped in 11 and two steals and fellow senior Kelly Naughton scored two points in her final game.

JSU equaled a school record in the first half with a 61.5 shooting percentage, a mark that was first set against Auburn in 2005, en route to 42 points and a three-point lead at the break.

A 13-0 Jacksonville State run that began with 4:41 left in the second quarter gave the Gamecocks a seven-point lead, but the Eagles cut the lead to 42-39.

JSU stayed hot to begin the second half and quickly built up a 12-point lead at 56-44 with 4:31 left in the third on the strength of six quick points from Tyler Phelion.

Phelion finished with 20 points and 4 rebounds, and she made 10 of her 12 free throw attempts.

MSU cut the lead to four in the waning moments of the third, but Rayven Pearson’s first 3-point attempt of the entire season found the net at the buzzer to make the score 64-57 heading into the fourth.

The Eagles continued chipping away at the JSU lead in the fourth, and Morehead State finally took the lead with 5:41 remaining.

The Gamecocks weren’t able to regain the lead, but a Buchanon layup cut the Eagle advantage to 84-82 with only 28 seconds left.

Morehead made the score 85-82 on a Miranda Crockett free throw with 12 seconds left, and Buchanon’s game-tying 3-point attempt with 3 seconds remaining missed the mark.

Jacksonville State was outscored 28-18 in the fourth quarter on the way to their 85-82 season-ending defeat.

Benson, Buchanon and Naughton will all depart the Jacksonville State program after finishing up their college careers on Saturday, and senior Destany McLin, who scored over 1,000 points at JSU but missed most of the year due to injury, also sees her career come to an end.

Despite losing McLin as well as Chloe Long and Ki-Ki Patterson early in the season due to injury, head coach Rick Pietri’s squad rebounded to finish the season strong despite narrowly missing the OVC Tournament.

Women hoops win on Valentine’s Day

It was a sweet Valentine’s Day for the JSU women who stepped up and defeated Tennessee Tech 67-58 in front of the home crowd at Pete Mathews.

The Gamecocks were on fire with their free throws in the second half as they made 11-of-12. Candace Morton had four more in the second and Tyler Phelion had five. On the night, the team was 17-of-19 from the free throw line. Morton led the night in total points with 18 while Gretchen Morrison had 12 and Phelion had 11.

While JSU had more points in the first half with 34 to TTU’s 24, the Golden Eagles came back to give JSU a scare as they scored 34 to JSU’s 33 in the second half. It was not enough to contain the Gamecocks who left the first half in the lead and would not release it for the remainder of the game.

The first half opened with the first points belonging to Tennessee Tech. They would lead for around three minutes until JSU tied the game and stole the lead with a shot from Morton.

The score would be tied three more times during the first half and the lead changed from JSU to TTU and back again before the third tie settled it. JSU took the lead out of the half’s final tie at 10:29 and carried it for the remainder of the first.

When Tennessee Tech came within one, it took a three-pointer from Briana Benson to bump the lead back up to four. The Gamecocks led by as many as 12 with 15 seconds remaining before the Golden Eagles hit two free throws on a Benson foul to cut the lead to ten. The Gamecocks entered the half ahead of TTU 34-24.

The first half was productive on free throws for the Gamecocks as they hit 6-of-7 with four coming from veteran guard Morton.

The second half saw JSU in the lead early on. Despite TTU’s best efforts, the closest they got to the Gamecocks was four points. JSU had their highest lead of the second half with 11 at the 6:32 mark after a made three-pointer by Gretchen Morrison set their lead at 50-39.

The Gamecocks would keep their lead within seven until 2:42 when two free throws dropped their lead to six at 55-49. With the game coming to an end, TTU attempted to claw their way back to the lead, but never made it past the six points that they were down by. The Gamecocks made eight free throws in the final minute to seal their 67-58 victory and earn their hard fought 17th win.

The JSU women’s regular season draws to a close as they reach their final games of the season. They will play Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 18, weather permitting, in Richmond. Their final home game will be on Feb. 21 against Tennessee State.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer

JSU Women gets another double-digit victory with win over Tennessee Tech

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team has won again, moving them up to 7-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 16-7 overall as they defeated Tennessee Tech 70-54 on the road Saturday evening.

Briana Benson dropped 20 points, energizing the Gamecocks as they ended the game with a total of 70 points. Senior Candace Morton dropped 12 points and senior Destany McLin scored 10.

JSU was quite successful in shooting from the field as they came out of the first half with 52 percent. However, Jacksonville State’s defense restricted Tennessee Tech to 11-of-29 from the field.

JSU began the second half with an eight point lead and was able to pick up 36 more points before the end of the game. Jacksonville State’s sturdy defense was able to keep Tennessee Tech back, so TTU was only able to score 28 more points in the second half. JSU was able to maintain a strong lead and soon reached the double-digits at the 9:43 mark after Courtney Strain scored a three-pointer.

Tennessee Tech tried to catch up quickly by giving JSU only a three point lead of 40-37, but JSU fought back by gaining 13 more points, giving the Gamecocks a 16 point lead.

Jacksonville State grew steady control of the game and eventually gained a 20 point lead after Morton made a pair of free-throws.

This will be the first double-digit win against Tennessee Tech for JSU since 2005. This is also the first time since the 2003-04 season that the women’s basketball team has recorded three double-digit wins in a row.

Tennessee Tech now falls to 2-9 in the OVC.

JSU finished the game with a shot percentage of almost 49 percent from the field. Tennessee Tech made only 35 percent.

The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team will play again on Feb. 11 in the Pete Mathews Coliseum at 5:30 pm against Belmont.

Lauryn Dawkins
Staff Writer

Women’s Basketball bounce back from losses with 72-64 win over Morehead State

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The Jacksonville State Women’s Basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak with their 72-64 win over Morehead State Saturday afternoon at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The win also broke an eight game losing skid to the Lady Eagles. Jacksonville State improved their record to 13-7 overall, 4-4 in conference play. The Lady Eagles fell to 8-12 overall, 4-3 in the OVC.

The Lady Eagles started the day off with a 5-0 run before Briana Benson hit a three to put Jacksonville State on the board at the 18:36 mark of the first half.

Both teams swapped baskets before the Lady Gamecocks took the lead. They would never trail the rest of the way. Jacksonville State ended the half on a 4-0 run where they went into the locker room with a 36-25 advantage.

The Lady Gamecocks opened the second half with a basket by Tyler Phelion to increase their lead to 38-25. From that point on, both teams shared baskets. Jacksonville State experienced their largest lead of the afternoon with 16:54 left in the game after Benson knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead to 16 points, 47-31.

Jacksonville State finished shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Benson led all scorers with 17 points. Destany McLin had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The Lady Gamecocks will try to increase their winning streak to two games when they host Eastern Kentucky Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Chris Hubbard
Staff Writer

JSU Women takes down Murray State in overtime

JSU Sportswire
JSU Sportswire

The JSU women snapped their two-game conference losing streak by beating Murray State Saturday afternoon in front of the home crowd at Pete Mathews.

The win gave the Gamecocks an 11-5 overall record with a 2-2 conference record and left the Racers of Murray State with still no wins in the OVC. However, the win did not come easy for JSU as they were forced to fight in overtime for their 78-73 victory.

Murray State jumped out to the early lead as JSU would only have two lone points before they took an impressive 13-2 run and claimed the lead for themselves. Once JSU caught up to the Racers, the game would go back-and-forth between the two teams until the tie at 22 with 8:29 left in the half. After a missed three-pointer from MSU, the Gamecocks made a three-point shot on the arm of Gretchen Morrison. The shot put JSU up by three and prompted an 18-8 run by the Gamecocks over the last part of the half. They would go into the locker room with a 43-30 lead over the Racers.

The 43 points that were scored by the Gamecocks in the first half is the most in a half for Rick Pietri’s team.

Despite JSU’s success in the first half, the MSU Racers were not out for the count. They came out ready to fight the Gamecocks to the bitter end.

By the time nearly four minutes had dwindled off the second half clock, JSU had a 20-point lead and what seemed like the upper hand. But, MSU was not finished. After Leasia Wright made a three-pointer at 16:28, the Racers would go on an 18-2 run and cut Jacksonville State’s lead to one with 9:43 left in the game.

Another three minutes ticked away and JSU had managed to push their lead back out to 11 with a 67-56 score.

The Racers scored 11 unanswered to tie it up at 67 and send the game into overtime after the final two minutes dwindled down without another score.

The Gamecocks and the Racers would battle for the lead for the most of overtime before JSU grabbed a three point lead with 1:40 left. Briana Benson nailed two free-throws and successfully put JSU ahead by five with 17 seconds left. Despite attempts made by MSU, they could not score again and the Gamecocks would win 78-73.

Candace Morton shined in overtime as seven of the 11 JSU points that were scored belonged to her. Benson and Morrison had six three-pointers made between the two of them, while Leah Strain made both of the ones she took. Morton also led the team in scoring as she had 21 points on the night. Benson was next with 15 and Destany McLin had 12.

The Gamecocks will play Southeast Missouri next on Jan. 14 at Pete Mathews.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer