Gamecocks fall to Alabama State in home opener

Jacksonville State entered Saturday’s home opener against Alabama State looking for its first win of the season.

The Gamecocks left that game still looking for it as the Hornets defeated them 84-73.

“It’s frustrating,” JSU head coach James Green said. “I’ve been doing this about 28, 29 years now. Occasionally you get yourself in situations where you’ve got to have growth and the maturity before you’re going to come up with that win. You’ve got to concentrate on those things.” 

It was the tale of two lines: the three-point line and the free-throw line.

JSU (0-4) shot 16.7 percent from beyond the arch. ASU (2-2) shot 25 percent. 

There were 53 fouls called between both teams: 26 for ASU and 27 for JSU. The Hornets made the most of their opportunities from the free throw line shooting 82.1 percent to the Gamecocks’ 72.7 percent.

“It’s difficult,” Green said, “but it’s fair. They went to the line and made their free throws. We didn’t go as good of a job at the line.”

Overshadowed by the loss is the milestone reached by senior guard Brian Williams. He became the 22nd Gamecock to score 1,000 points during the game and only the fifth in JSU’s Division I history.

“It’s an honor,” Williams said. “It’s not just a singular thing. It’s my teammates throughout the four years. Passing me the ball, me getting open shots, It’s good to be a part of something for JSU.”

Williams finished with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists.

“Brian Williams is in his fourth year here,” Green said. “He’s one of the two guys that has been in our program for a long period of time. He’s a tremendous competitor. We didn’t have any idea that it would be at that point but we’re glad to see him have that kind of success.”

Junior guard Darion Rackley led the Gamecocks with 23 points. He also finished with five rebounds and an assist.

“I just came out here and tried to help my team win,” Rackley said. “We fell short. We just have to come in tomorrow morning and work hard and get ready for Auburn.”

Added Williams: “It’s really frustrating because we had a great season last year. Now we’re in a hole and we’ve got to climb out of it.”

The Gamecocks’ next attempt at their first win will be Tuesday at Auburn.

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