The JSU women’s basketball team finished strong to defeat the Tennessee State Lady Tigers 84-76. This was the 26th meeting between the two teams. With the win, Jacksonville State has tied the series 13-13.
The Gamecocks started strong and finished the same way. Tennessee State scored the first two points but would never see the lead again as Jacksonville State went on an early 13-3 run.
Jacksonville State’s Brianna Benson hit two three-pointers during the run in her first career start. Destany McLin hit a free-throw to give JSU an 11 point lead which was the largest of the game with 13:29 left in the first half.
Tennessee State would come back as Imani Davis hit a layup and free-throw to bring them within two. But after a steal and fast break led by Jacksonville State’s LeCresha Horton, the Gamecocks regained their momentum.
Horton ended the first half with two late free-throws to put the Gamecocks up eight points at halftime with the score being 41-33. Those two free-throws also gave Horton a career high with eight points when it once was six. Miranda Cantrell led the Gamecocks with 12 points after the first half while Chelsea Hudson led Tennessee State with 10 points.
The second half was a tight one as Tennessee State started strong and pulled within two points with 16:22 left in the second half. Former Gamecock Briana Morrow, who is currently with Tennessee State, scored her first two points of the game as she hit two free-throws with 14:52 left in the second half. She ended the game with eight points and seven rebounds.
Tennessee State came within one point three times in the second half.
The third time was due to a three-pointer by Tennessee State’s Brianna Lawrence with 3:27 left in the game. However, Candace Morton answered with a three-pointer of her own to make it a two-possession game.
With under a minute left to go in the game and still a two-possession game, Tennessee State’s Brianna Morrow was fouled and hit two free-throws with 49 seconds left. That brings the Lady Tigers within two and that would be there last two points of the game.
Tennessee State would miss the rest of their shots, play the foul game and watch Jacksonville State make all six free-throws to end the game.
Miranda Cantrell recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Candace Morton finished a close second with 19 points as Destiny James had a game high with five assists.
On the other side, Chelsea Hudson led her team with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
This win gives Jacksonville State their first win over Tennessee State since the 2011 OVC Tournament where the Gamecocks won 57-55.
This win also gives Jacksonville State their third OVC win which is their most conference wins since the 2010-11 season. Jacksonville State is now 3-5 in the conference and has moved to 7-14 overall.
Their next game will be another OVC match-up on Jan. 25 at Murray State. Tip-off is set for 5:15 P.M.