Despite overcoming a double-digit second half deficit, the Jacksonville State women’s basketball team fell 69-62 in a road contest against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday afternoon.
The Gamecocks fought back from a 10-point SIUE lead in the third quarter to take a lead, but the Cougars seized victory with a strong finish in the final period.
The old saying “basketball is a game of runs” certainly proved true in the first quarter of Saturday’s contest.
SIUE opened the game on a 6-0 run, but Jacksonville State quickly responded with a 10-0 spurt of their own to claim the lead.
The Cougars then scored eight straight before a Lacey Buchanon bucket made the tally 14-12 in favor of SIUE at the end of the first.
Buchanon, normally a double-figure scorer for the Gamecocks, struggled to put the ball in the basket on Saturday, shooting just 2-11 and finishing with five points, but ended the game with a career-high 11 assists against the Cougars.
JSU grabbed the lead back in the second quarter thanks in large part to an unexpected source of scoring off of the bench.
Jada Coggins, a redshirt freshman who has played sparingly in just nine games this season, sparked the Gamecocks with a quick seven points in the second period, including draining her first career 3-pointer to give JSU a 21-20 lead.
Coggins, who had scored just eight total points in her Gamecock career prior to Saturday’s game, finished with a career-high 10 points against SIUE.
The Cougars battled back however, and, despite a JSU layup at the buzzer from Rayven Pearson, SIUE led 32-31 going into the halftime break.
Coming out of halftime, the two teams traded baskets before a JSU cold stretch led to a 10-point advantage for SIUE with 4:50 remaining in the third.
After a quick timeout from coach Rick Pietri, a Gretchen Morrison 3-pointer cut into the Cougar lead and began the comeback for JSU.
JSU trailed 51-48 at the end of the third, and another long-range bomb from Morrison trimmed the Cougar lead to just one with 6:14 remaining.
Morrison drilled four of her six attempted 3-pointers in the second half, finishing with 12 points that all came in the final two frames.
After a Tasha Magruder basket completed the comeback and gave the Gamecocks a one-point advantage, the two teams traded leads down the stretch.
JSU possessed a 62-60 lead with only 1:49 left in the fourth, but the Cougars quickly tied it up with two free throws.
On the Gamecocks’ next possession, SIUE’s Donshel Beck stole the ball and raced to the other end of the floor for a layup that put the Cougars ahead 64- 62.
Beck then pulled down the rebound from a missed JSU shot and found Amri Wilder for yet another fastbreak layup that made the score 66-62 with 0:36 remaining.
JSU was unable to regroup after a timeout, and the Gamecocks fell 69-62.
After Saturday’s shocker, Jacksonville State’s record falls to 10-13 overall and 3-8 in Ohio Valley Conference contests.
Matt Reynolds/ JSU Freshman Tyrik Edwards looks to pass the ball during a game against Belmont on February 9, 2017. Edwards had a career-high 19 points in a victory over SIUE on Saturday.
Rebekah Hawkins, Staff Reporter
After falling behind in the first half against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Gamecocks rallied in the second to win 72-61.
Tyrik Edwards had a record night with 19 points against the Cougars. Norbertas Giga also had ten points on the night and Greg Tucker was a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws for the night.
The Gamecocks struggled to find their footing early in the game.
SIUE started off with a three-pointer from Josh White that set the tone for the beginning of the half. The Gamecocks fell behind steadily as the Cougars jumped out to a six point lead 12-6. With the help of Ashton Spears and Giga, the Gamecocks cut the lead to just one. SIUE pushed it back out to three but a foul from them gave Jacara Cross the opportunity to cut the lead back down to one at 17-16.
Free throws from Erik Durham finally gave the Gamecocks a tie, and then the lead. The Cougars seemed to freeze and the Gamecocks steadily climbed the scoreboard. Durham continued to help with a successful three-pointer and another layup that gave the Gamecocks the largest lead of the night so far at ten.
Before the end of the half the Cougars managed to hit a jumper that cut the Gamecocks lead to just eight. At the end of half the Gamecocks led 29-21.
At the opening of the second half Giga hit a quick jumper to put the Gamecocks back out by ten.
The Cougars tried for a comeback as they chipped away at the Gamecocks’ lead. SIUE’s White had five points including a three-pointer that cut the Gamecocks’ lead to just three at 32-29. JSU’s Malcolm Drumwright hit a jumper that pushed the Gamecocks out ahead by five.
The Cougars’ Ellis Christian hit a layup followed by another by Brandon Jackson to cut the Gamecocks’ lead to only one. It was the closest that SIUE would be to a comeback.
Drumwright started the Gamecocks’ climb back to the top with a three-pointer. It was his only made three-pointer of the game. The Gamecocks quickly got back out ahead by ten 43-33 and continued to stay ahead.
At the eight-minute mark the Cougars closed back in by five after a few good free throws from White.
They were able to come within four later but the Gamecocks took the lead back out to ten and stayed ahead by at least seven for the remaining minutes of the game.
At three minutes the Gamecocks moved ahead by 11 with a layup by Christian Cunningham to bring the score to 60-49. The clock dwindled and the Gamecocks stayed ahead by double digits. The Cougars cut the lead to ten but that was as close as they came to bringing it back to singles.
JSU is now 7-4 in OVC play and sits third in the standings behind Morehead State. The Gamecocks return home to play undefeated OVC leader Belmont on Feb. 9.
The Jacksonville State University volleyball team fell to the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars 3-1 in a home Ohio Valley Conference match on Saturday afternoon.
The defeat at the hands of SIUE followed a 3-2 loss to Eastern Illinois on Friday and brings the Gamecocks’ record to 17-13 overall and 5-5 in OVC play.
The win for the Cougars brings their record to 15-6 and 8-2 in the OVC and puts SIUE in second place in the conference standings.
In Saturday’s match, valiant efforts from Jacksonville State’s Allyson Zuhlke, Sadie Anderson and Rachel Perucki were not enough for the Gamecocks to overcome a 2-0 set deficit to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, and Jacksonville State fell to the Cougars 3-1.
Zuhlke led the Gamecocks in kills with 13 and shared the team lead of 13.5 points with Anderson, who was the only other Gamecock with double figures in kills with 11, while Perucki was the match leader in assists with 27.
Jacksonville State got out to a quick 3-1 lead in the first set against SIUE, but the Cougars used a 6-0 run later in the set to take the lead and win the first frame 25-20.
The Gamecocks’ struggles extended into the second set as well, as the Cougars took a 7-1 lead and never looked back, winning the set 25-14 and sending JSU into intermission in a 2 sets to 0 hole.
Jacksonville State came into the match leading the nation in total blocks, but the Gamecocks were unable to record a single block in the first 2 sets.
After the intermission, JSU looked ready to stage a comeback in the match.
A quick 3-0 run by Jacksonville State when the score was tied at 12-12 allowed the Gamecocks to pull away from the Cougars and win the set 25-18.
Jacksonville State was able to keep the Cougars to an attack percentage of only -.026 in a dominant third set for the Gamecocks.
JSU continued their hot play into the fourth set and took a 10-5 lead over the Cougars.
SIUE kept chipping away at the deficit however, and finally erased the Gamecocks’ lead, pressed their advantage, and eventually built a 24-19 lead of their own over JSU.
Jacksonville State refused to give up, however, scoring 4 straight points with the Cougars at match point to make the score 24-23 in favor of SIUE.
A final kill by Ashley Witt of the Cougars sealed victory in the set and the match for SIUE.
After the defeat, JSU now has just a 1-6 record against SIUE since the two teams first met in 2011.
Jacksonville State will hit the road for their next two matches, as they will face Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State Oct. 28 and 29 respectively.
JSU returns to Pete Mathews Coliseum to take on Belmont on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.