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Men's basketball pulls out tight win


Sunday afternoon Jacksonville State hosted Eastern Michigan from the Mid-American Conference at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The Eagles entered the game 1-0 as did the Gamecocks, who won their season opener against Reinhardt just a few nights before.

Eastern Michigan jumped out front early and at the start their physical play seemed to affect JSU’s play. Coach James Green called a timeout just over a minute into the action to calm the Gamecocks down, who had already fallen behind 4-0.

After the timeout, Jacksonville State seemed more poised and slowly started to come back.

Sophomore Darion Rackley hit back to back threes which led to the Gamecocks taking the lead 10-8 with 15:45 remaining in the first half.

Junior Nick Cook began to take control down low around the goal and helped the Gamecocks pull out to a then high six point lead, but the Eagles brought the game back to one point with four minutes until the half. In the final minutes the teams exchanged a few free throws and JSU went into the locker room with a 27-24 lead.

Brian Williams opened the second half hitting a pair of free throws that kick started a strong second half for Williams. Rackley hit a jump shot and one on the way to the Gamecocks extending their lead to ten points early in the second half. Over the next few minutes, EMU got on a hot streak hitting every shot including a few threes and quickly had the game tied at 42 with 8:03 remaining.

The score went back and forth and Cook gave JSU a 47-46 lead when he slammed down an ally oop. Willams followed up the next possession with a key three pointer reached a four point margin they wouldn’t let slip away. Eastern Michigan hit a pair of three under thirty seconds to go, but it was too little, too late as the Gamecocks took a big 61-54 win to move to 2-0 on the season.

Rackley led the way with 17 points followed immediately by Williams with 16 and senior Ronnie Boggs was in the double digits as well with ten. Boggs hauled in a team high seven rebound, Tarvin Gaines had six and Rinaldo Mafra, who had a great game defending EMU’s big men, had four rebounds.

The Gamecocks made 18/28 free throws and shot under forty percent from the floor overall.

Tonight the Gamecocks host Alabama A&M in a final home game before heading out west.

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