Last Saturday a 12-6 JSU team faced Eastern Kentucky (14-4) at Pete Mathews Coliseum in a big Ohio Valley matchup that was televised by Fox Sports South.
Senior Tarvin Gaines pushed the Gamecocks out to a quick 4-0 lead with two early buckets, but the Colonels hit a three immediately after to climb with 4-3. The game was tight for the first ten minutes, but following a 10-10 tie, EKU went on a 12-2 run in a two minute stretch to take a 22-12 lead and force coach James Green to use a timeout to calm down the Gamecocks.
Ronnie Boggs, who totaled 11 points while playing all 40 minutes, hit s big three pointer out of the timeout to give JSU a spark, but EKU responded with a pair of their own threes on back to back possession to grow to an 11 point lead, 28-17. That lead would expand to 14 before the teams left the court for halftime.
Out of the break the Colonels didn’t let the Gamecocks back in the game and soon held a 46-29 lead. Junior Rico Sanders hit a pair of three pointers within one minute to pull JSU within 11, 35-46, but EKU would extend its lead again.
With 5:20 remaining in the game EKU seemingly had the game with a 42-56 lead, but a three by Brian Williams gave JSU a jolt that started a rally. A basket by Gaines made it a ten point game, and when Williams hit another three with 2:50 remaining the Gamecocks were within six, their closest since it was 17-12. However, with time running out JSU had to go to fouling and the Colonels hit their free throws to stave off a late Jax State comeback and win 73-62.
EKU made 21 of 25 free throws overall and shot 51 percent from the field while the Gamecocks shot a tough 31 percent. Two stars, Corey Walden and Mike DiNunno, led the Colonels both playing all forty minutes and scoring over twenty points apiece. Gaines led JSU in scoring with 17 followed by Williams with 14. Sophomore Darion Rackley, the Cocks leading scorer, did not play in the game due to injury.
Tonight at Pete Mathews Coliseum the Gamecocks return to action against Austin Peay (5-15) and then hosts another big OVC game on Saturday when the Murray State Racers come to town with a 14-4 record leading the OVC West division.