Jacksonville State’s women’s basketball team was seeking their sixth consecutive home victory Monday night when they played host to Morehead State.
Coach Rick Pietri’s squad is closing in a completing one of the best turnaround seasons in history. Following a one-win campaign a year ago, the Gamecocks, in Pietri’s first season, are now 11-16 and prior to Monday night were winners of seven of their last nine games.
JSU led 30-22 at the half fuel by Briana Benson and Destany McLin’s double-digit scoring in the first half. However, the Gamecocks
were ice cold offensively in the second half shooting just 3/27 from the field the entire final 20 minutes.
A nine-minute drought from 15:35 to 6:35 saw the Gamecocks fail to make a single bucket. Still, a strong defense resulted in JSU leading 40-39 with 3:31 remaining.
Morehead missed a free throw with 26 seconds to go that allowed JSU to rush down and score a tying layup, but in the return possession the Eagles hit a jumpshot with less than a second to play sealing a 45-43 victory over JSU.
Even with the disappointing loss, Jax State still sits in a strong position for a quality OVC Tournament seed, something that was likely considered out of the relm of possibility following a 1-27 campaign.
At 7-7 in conference play, JSU sits sixth currently, but it just a half-game out of fourth. The Gamecocks have two remaining games on the next two Saturdays first at Southeast Missouri State (4-8) and then closing the season at home vs East leading Belmont (9-4).