Saturday’s game against Ohio Valley Conference opponent Eastern Kentucky started scoreless as the teams battled defensively for nearly five minutes of play.
The first score of the game was a two point shot taken by EKU’s Brittany Coles that remained unanswered until a three pointer taken by JSU’s Bria’unna Buckner. The score was then 6-5 in Eastern Kentucky’s favor until back to back 2-pointers by both teams and a tremendous three point shot taken by JSU’s Buckner put the Gamecocks on top 10-6. Jacksonville State was up by six with 11:36 left in the first half, which was the largest Gamecock lead of the night.
Eastern Kentucky fought to catch up eventually tying the score for the first time. The score would be tied four times in the first half with three lead changes coming in the final four minutes of play. As the score became tied at 21 Eastern Kentucky moved ahead with 1:16 left in the first half making the score 25-21 in their favor. JSU would not score again in the first half and Eastern Kentucky would make a two point shot followed by a three point shot at the buzzer to bring the first half to a close with a score of 30-21 EKU on top.
The second half started in Eastern Kentucky’s possession with the first points of the half belonging to them. JSU struggled to score as the second half wore on only scoring seven points by the thirteen minute mark making the score 37-28 with EKU hanging on to their lead. The Gamecocks moved within nine points of EKU after both teams scored two to make the score 39-30. Eastern Kentucky would then go on to make a pair of back to back 3-pointers making the score 45-31. JSU would continue to fight back scoring several 2-pointers and an incredible three point shot taken by Candace Morton to move the score to 52-38 still short of EKU.
The final four minutes of the game saw the Gamecocks within ten of their opponent with the score at 55-45. After scoring on both sides the Colonels would hang onto the lead at 60 and JSU would eventually bring their score to 49. With the game coming down to the final minute JSU managed to gain two more points off of free throws bringing the Gamecock’s points to 51. EKU would score nine more points before the game ended and they allowed time to be run off ending the game with the score 69-51.
Jacksonville State played a superb game of defense and Head Coach Annette Watts said that she was, “Tickled defensively” but that the team just had to “make the shots”. She also said her team rebounded well and that she “Feels like a young team has come a long way” and that if they, “Play hard wins will come”.