On October 3, 2019, a former member of the Fast Start Academy at Jacksonville State University filed a lawsuit against JSU alleging the university violated Title IX, was negligent in supervision and was negligent in training and hiring.
The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team (20-11, 11-7 OVC) took home a 66-57 win over Tennessee Tech in their final regular season game on Saturday, clinching the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference Championship and earning its second consecutive 20-win season.
Former Head Coach Bill Jones was the last coach to lead the Gamecocks to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Senior Norbertas Giga added the first points to the board Saturday after a foul by TTU’s Mason Ramsey. After a 2 from junior Marlon Hunter, Tennessee Tech’s Shaq Calhoun tied the game 3-3 at the 16:25 mark.
A short range shot from Cunningham at 15:28 gave the Gamecocks back a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest.
Maurice Dunlap earned the first 3-pointer for JSU with 4:21 remaining, and JSU led 26-19 at the half thanks to a 35.71% shooting average over TTU’s 24.14%.
Following a foul from Burnell, the Golden Eagles’ Courtney Alexander earned the first two points of the second half, but a layup by JSU’s Norbertas Giga would extend the Gamecock lead back to seven points.
TTU managed to pull within three points of Jacksonville’s lead at the 7:56 mark of the second half. The Gamecock’s defense reacted by preventing TTU from making any field goals for the next five minutes of play, but the Golden Eagles kept the deficit slim by converting on six free throws.
The Gamecock lead stayed under 10 for the remainder of the game, but an 8-2 Gamecock run after the 4:34 mark solidified their lead and pushed the team to their 66-57 victory.
Hunter was a strong presence in the game, bucketing 14 points as the night’s top scorer for JSU, followed by 12 from Jason Burnell and 11 from Giga. Junior Christian Cunningham, earning a double-double, registered 10 points and 13 rebounds.
For his performance in the game against TTU and his 21 points against Belmont on February 22, Hunter was named OVC Newcomer of the Week.
Jacksonville’s 20-7 bench points and 34-24 points-in-paint edge over Tennessee Tech helped boost the Gamecocks to the win, and JSU held a 38.3% shooting percentage over TTU’s 31.1% for the game.
The Gamecocks will face off against the winner of the first-round game between Tennessee Tech and SIUE on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Evansville, Indiana.
JSU swept their two matchups against the Golden Eagles this season, but fell to SIUE 75-67 in their only contest.
A Gamecock victory in the quarterfinals would mean JSU would move on to face Murray State, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, in the semifinals Friday night.
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks returned to their winning ways Saturday night with a 78-60 takedown of Southeast Missouri State at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The bounce-back win came after a disappointing loss Thursday night in which the Gamecocks (16-7, 7-3 OVC) overcame a 10-point halftime deficit only to fall late against UT Martin.
In Saturday’s affair, the Gamecocks played like a team that was unwilling to lose two in a row.
After back-and-forth play to tipoff the contest, an Ashton Spears 3-pointer at the 11:33 mark of the first half gave JSU an 18-16 lead, and the Gamecocks never looked back.
Jax State built the lead to a 12-point margin at the break.
Early in the second half, an 8-0 Gamecock run, which included two buckets from Marlon Hunter, ended thoughts of a SEMO comeback relatively quickly.
Hunter set a new career high with 22 points in the game, which bested his previous total of 21 from the Jan. 11 victory over Murray State. 14 of Hunter’s total came in the second half, helping to keep the Redhawks at arms length and secure the 78-60 victory for Jacksonville State.
Christian Cunningham also chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds, his team-leading sixth game in double figures in both statistical categories this season.
Malcolm Drumwright and Jason Burnell contributed 11 points apiece, while Jamall Gregory scored 12 and dished out six assists.
Drumwright’s scoring output snaps a bit of a hot scoring streak, as the senior point guard had put up 20 or more points in four of the previous five contests.
Jacksonville State will now embark on a two-game road trip to face two teams near the bottom of the OVC Standings.
The Gamecocks will take on Eastern Illinois Thursday, Feb. 1 before travelling to Edwardsville, Illinois to take on SIUE on Saturday. Both teams currently have a 3-7 record in OVC contests.
Jax State will return to Pete Mathews Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 8 to take on Tennessee Tech.