JSU Men Win 1st OVC Game, Women Fall to Austin Peay

The cold air outside Pete Mathews Coliseum seeped in during the Jacksonville State women's basketball matchup with Austin Peay Thursday night and it ultimately cost them dearly. The Gamecocks shot 29.2 percent for the game, 21.1 in the second half, as JSU fell to the Lady Govs 57-54.

It's the second straight Ohio Valley Conference loss for JSU, following a heartbreaker to Eastern Illinois last Saturday. The loss drops to Gamecocks to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The loss is the first at home for JSU as it won the first five home contests of the season. It snapped a six-game winning streak on the floor of Pete Mathews Coliseum.

Austin Peay heated up 'The Pete' early on as the Lady Govs shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half and pulled away from Jacksonville State by as many as 17 with 4:47 remaining in the first half. APSU rode the hot streak the rest of the half in route to a 39-28 halftime lead over the Gamecocks.

JSU's shooting struggles continue well into the second half as the Gamecocks' first basket didn't come until Miranda Cantrell sank a jumper with 14:20 left in the half. Fortunate for JSU, APSU was only 2-of-7 shooting up until Cantrell's bucket.

Throughout the second half, Jax State's defense suffocated APSU's offense as the Gamecocks held the Govs to 5-of-27 shooting in the second half, 18.5 percent, and brought down their overall shooting percent to 36.2 for the game.

JSU battled back from the halftime deficit all the way until the sound of the final buzzer, but Destiny James' final heave did not go in.

The Gamecocks outscored APSU 26-18 in the second half and had the potential game-tying 3-point shot by Destiny James bounce off the front of the iron as the horn sounded.

Tiasha Gray carried the Lady Govs with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and four steals while Brianne Alexandria also finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. 6-foot-3 post player Tearra Banks added 10 points and seven rebounds for the visitors.

Candace Morton overcame a slow start and finished with 12 points for the Gamecocks in the second half. Destany McLin also came on late as she had 12 points and nine rebounds. Miranda Cantrell added 10 points and three rebounds for the Gamecocks.

JSU freshman Tyler "Cocoa" Phelion finished with a game-high 12 rebounds. After the Gamecocks were outrebounded 27 to 11 in the first half, they battled back and finished with 41 boards.

JSU will continue its home stand Saturday as the Gamecocks play host to Murray State with tip off scheduled for 2 p.m. All general admission tickets for Saturday's game will be $1, while JSU students and all fans ages 18 and under receive free admission for all home games.

Men- JSU-71 / Austin Peay- 59

The Jacksonville State men's basketball team made the most of its return home on Thursday night, jumping on Austin Peay and riding an early run to a 71-59 Ohio Valley Conference win.

After dropping all five games in a five-game road trip over the holidays, the Gamecocks (8-9, 1-2 OVC) returned to Pete Mathews Coliseum for the first time since Dec. 16 and took advantage of their home court. They scored the game's first eight points and led the Governors (5-10, 0-1 OVC) by at least five the rest of the way to win their fourth in a row over APSU and improve to 8-0 at home this season.

Senior D.J. Felder had 18 points and nine rebounds, while fellow senior Darion Rackley scored 26 points off of the bench to lead the Gamecocks to their best shooting night in five games.

Felder and senior Avery Moore keyed the early run, one that saw a pair of Moore jumpers follow a Jamal Hunter putback and then Felder rattle off 12 in a row for Jacksonville State to help the Gamecocks open an 11-point lead at 18-7 with 13:34 remaining in the half.

Rackley added 10 points from that point until the half, where the Gamecocks took a 41-28 lead into the locker room.

Rackley scored 16 in the second half, including a 3-pointer that stretched JSU's lead to 18 at 50-32 with 14:30 left in the game. Junior Dontay Jackson followed that with a layup to make it a 20-point game, JSU's largest lead of the night, with just under 14 minutes on the clock.

The Govs went on a 17-2 a run from that point to cut their deficit to five, but a Rackley dunk off an inbounds lob from Jackson stopped the bleeding with 5:48 to play and lifted the Gamecocks down the stretch.

Jackson dished a career-high seven assists, while true freshman Malcolm Drumwright had four in his second career start for the Gamecocks. Hunter had six rebounds, four blocks and a career-best four steals in the post.

Chris Horton led APSU with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, the only Governor in double figures in either category.

The Gamecocks will be at home Sunday against preseason OVC favorite Murray State in a 5 p.m. game that will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network. The Gamecocks ask fans to wear red to "Red Out The Racers" and general admission tickets will cost just one dollar. Admission is free for JSU students and all fans ages 18 and under.

COURTESY: JSU Sports Information

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