The Gamecock men's basketball team saw their first action of the season last Thursday night in an exhibition game against NAIA William Carey.
Jacksonville State won the tip and almost everything afterwards. Darion Rackley, who shone as a freshman last season, kick started what would turn into a hot shooting night for JSU. Rackley opened 3-3 shooting, including 2-2 from three point, contributing eight early points.
Junior Brian Williams, the leading scorer from last season, soon came into a groove of his own from behind the arc, and JSU took a double-digit points lead after Williams hit a three with 12:00 remaining in the first half, 18-6.
Coach James Green's team climbed out to a 27-9 lead with under ten minutes remaining in the half, and hit the locker room with a comfortable 22-point halftime lead, 42-20.
Jacksonville State came out of the half with the same intensity and built a 60-30 lead with 13:10 remaining before the team slowed the pace.
Play seemed a little sloppy for JSU in the late stages as William Carey fought back to under a 20-point margin, but the Gamecocks were adjusting to their new team and testing what did or didn't work while they had a nice lead in an exhibition game.
The final score saw Jax State on top 75-58. JSU played a solid game for the first real action against other opponents. Rackley led the way scoring with 25, followed by Williams with 19. With the way these two can shoot, it will probably become a theme that one of these guys will be a top scorer.
Senior Ronnie Boggs will have a larger role this year and had a solid game with five points, three assists, and two steals. Along with his six points, returner Nick Crook added two steals and three blocks. Tarvin Gaines added eight points as he prepares for his final season.
True freshman Alex Anderson out of Memphis, Tenn., was credited four assists and a steal in his 16 minutes of action.
The Gamecocks shot 42% from the floor, including 10-26 (38.5%) from three-point range. The team made 68% of their free throws.
On Monday night, the Gamecocks finished their exhibition play with a 72-56 win over West Georgia. Jacksonville State opens the regular season tomorrow night, Friday, Nov. 9, against Reinhardt in Pete Mathews Coliseum.