Jacksonville State entered Thursday’s game versus Austin Peay tied with their longest losing streak of the season, two-games; the Gamecocks kept that streak at two with an 81-74 win.
Austin Peay scored first which gave them their only lead of the game. Junior guard Brian Williams put the Gamecocks on the board with a three pointer that gave JSU a 3-2 lead.
With high energy and tight defense, JSU dominated the first eight minutes of play. The Gamecocks had three blocks, one steal and had forced four turnovers up to that point. JSU led by 14 with a score of 23-9, their largest lead of the game.
The Governors regrouped. They tightened up on defense, forced bad passes and managed to go on a 13-1 run. JSU led 24-22 with 6:07 remaining in the first half.
After a timeout, the Gamecocks came back strong and managed to go on a 13-4 run to end the half. JSU led 37-26 at halftime
After halftime, senior guard Mason Leggett put the Gamecocks back up by 14 with a big three-point basket.
The Gamecocks seemed firmly in control for most of the second half; Austin Peay had other plans. The Governors battled back to within five points with 53-seconds remaining. JSU led 73-68.
The Gamecocks padded their lead with a dunk by junior forward Nick Cook and free throw shooting by Cook and Williams.
The Gamecocks won 81-74.
Prior to the game, Ronnie Boggs looked to be more fatigued than the other players. “When we’re having trouble scoring, he’s a guy we try to get a look,” said Head Coach James Green. “Whatever it is, it’s not good enough to not play.”
“Once I got going I had to just suck it up and keep pushing through it,” said Gaines. “Coach told me to fight and that’s what I did.”
Gaines fought his way to 28-points as he lead the gamecocks in scoring.
Junior guard Brian Williams finished with 17-points and hit four of his six three-point attempts. He also led with 8 assists.
Senior guard Ronnie Boggs finished with 16-points and led JSU with seven rebounds and seven steals.
Austin Peay’s leading scorers both finished with 18-points, junior guard Travis Beltran and freshman forward Chris Horton.
“When you watch that team, they’re so capable because they can score. When you relax, they run off seven or eight points,” said Coach Green.
“We new we wanted to keep the pressure on because we felt like we let it slip away,” said Brian Williams when asked about the 13-4 run before halftime.
“I think that was some maturity with this team to be able to gain composure and have the detailed focus to get ourselves back,” said Green when asked about the same 13-4 run.
While JSU sealed the victory with free throw shooting, going 20/23, Austin Peay lost the game at the foul line, going 6/13.