Senior Brian Williams set career highs with 25 points and eight rebounds while helping the Jacksonville State men's basketball team pull away for the 78-66 victory over Fort Valley State on Wednesday afternoon at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Williams scored 17 second-half points to help the Gamecocks win their third in a row and improve to 3-5 on the year. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native also finished with five assists to push his career total to 285 assists, moving him past Scott Watson's total of 281 assists for ninth place all-time at JSU.
Senior Giovanni Smith also set a career high with 14 points and four made 3-point field goals, all of which came in the first half. Junior Jamal Hunter added 11 points to go with five rebounds for JSU. The Gamecocks finished the game shooting 27-of-49 (55.1 percent) from the field while finishing 17-of-26 from the free throw line.
The Wildcats (3-4) were led by Brandon Davey's 20 points, while Nigel Domineck added 15 points and Joshuah Davis finished with 12. FVSU finished the night connecting on 26-of-51 (51 percent) shots from the field but went just 3-for-15 after building a nine-point lead with 11:22 left in the game.
Trailing 27-22 with 7:22 remaining in the half, Williams scored two points to spark a 14-0 run to help the Gamecocks take their first lead of the game. Smith then connected on his third 3-point shot of the half to tie the game at 27-27 before Williams gave the Gamecocks the lead with a jumper at 29-27.
Smith again knocked down a shot from downtown before junior Nick Cook and Williams added buckets to give JSU a 36-27 lead with 3:08 remaining in the half. Smith finished the first half connecting on 4-of-5 shots from downtown to lead a JSU team that hit 6-of-12 from behind the 3-point line. Overall, the Gamecocks finished the half shooting 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) from the floor.
The Wildcats then went on a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the half to cut the lead to 36-33 after Davey's jumper to close the half. The Wildcats finished the half shooting 15-of-25 (60 percent) from the field and were 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
FVSU carried the momentum over into the second half, turning that 6-0 run into a 17-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 46-38 lead with 15:13 remaining in the game. The Gamecocks would fight back to tie the game at 60-60 after two free throws from Teraes Clemmons with 6:15 to play. Hunter would then add two free throws before Williams would convert a three-point play after being fouled with 5:03 remaining to help JSU build a 65-60 lead.
The Gamecocks were then able to convert on 5-of-6 shots from the free throw line to pull away for the 78-66 victory. JSU finished the second half connecting on 15-of-24 shots from the charity stripe.
JSU will next hit the road to Mt. Pleasant, Mich., to take on Central Michigan on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Courtesy: JSU Sports Information