Gamecock Men Drop Third Straight
JACKSONVILLE– At this point in the season, every team is fighting for tournament births and positioning.
Jacksonville State did not do itself any favors Saturday with a 72-60 loss to Tennessee Tech, its third straight.
“It was the most disappointing effort for where we are at this particular point in the year,” head coach James Green said. “I don’t really remember being in a situation where a game had the impact that it had.
“We’d played everybody in the league except them and we’re going to play them twice. You’re thinking, at the very least, you want the split. Now to get the split, we have to go on their home court and win.”
The Gamecocks (10-16, 4-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference) entered Saturday’s game in ninth place in the conference. A win over TTU (12-13, 5-5 in the OVC) would have put them ahead of the then eighth place Golden Eagles.
Ice plagued the Gamecocks’ offensive efforts as they shot only 29.9 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from beyond the three-point line.
The free-throw line served as a saving grace for JSU in the first half. TTU only lead 35-28 after missing half of their 14 free throws. JSU hit 17 of their 20 from the charity stripe.
The Golden Eagles erased their struggles from the free-throw line in the second half and began to pull away.
Even so, senior guard Brian Williams fought to keep his team in the game by scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
“This is one we knew we wanted to definitely get,” Williams said. “We looked at the standings before the game. It’s tough but we have the opportunity to go back up there to their spot and tie it up. That’s what we have to do.”
An ice-cold night from the field was not the only problem for the Gamecocks. Tech out rebounded JSU 41-30 and scored 44 of its points in the paint and only allowed JSU to manage 24.
“We did nothing to try to create the right type of flow in a game of this nature,” Green said. “They’re more athletic. They’re quicker. They get up and down the floor. They want to play at a different pace. They clobbered us on the backboard. We would not get down in a stance and get ball pressure and contain the ball and get out and give them a chance to make mistakes.”
The rematch with Tennessee Tech is going to have to wait two weeks. The Gamecocks return to action Thursday against third place Morehead State at home.