Gamecock Men Pick Up First Win
Jacksonville State hopes their season will go the way their 85-61 victory over Dalton State went.
After a slow first half gave the Gamecocks a 38-34 lead, they outscored the Roadrunners 47-27 in the second half to secure their first win of the season.
“When you’re 0-5 and you’ve played four of those five on the road, you just need to feel better when that final horn goes off,” JSU head coach James Green said. “That’s the main stat. That will do a lot for our energy. It”ll do a lot for our concentration. We’ll make some forward strides.”
The Gamecocks’ (1-5) felt the wrath of Dolton State’s (8-2) sharpshooters in the first half. The Roadrunners shot 42.9 percent from beyond the three-point line in the first half. They led JSU by nine points with 11:13 remaining in the first half.
The Gamecocks managed to wrestle the lead away before halftime thanks to junior guard Darion Rackley’s 20 first half points. He tied his career high points and led the Gamecocks in scoring with 27 points. He also managed four assists, a block and six rebounds. He said the stat that caught his eye was the zero in the turnover column.
“I love the zero turnovers,” Rackley said. “I just knew we were losing. I wanted to stay aggressive on offense and defense.”
Rackley had 17 turnovers in his previous three games.
“That’s the stat he asked about after the game,” Green said. “That’s something we’ve been talking to him about this year–being under control.”
On the offensive end, freshman guard Undra Mitchem picked up where Rackley left off and set his career high by scoring 16 of his 17 points in the second half.
“Really, we all sparked from defense,” Mitchem said. “We talk about playing defense every possession. We were just playing within ourselves on offense and shots were falling. It’s fun once you do it right.”
Defensively, the Gamecocks upped the pressure in the second half and forced the Roadrunners to shoot 12.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. They shot just 24.1 percent from the field overall in the second half.
The Gamecocks look for win number two in Huntsville Monday against Alabama A&M.