Gamecock Men End Season With Eighth Straight Loss
JACKSONVILLE — Nobody knew which one would end first: Jacksonville State’s men’s basketball season or its seven game losing streak.
Belmont made sure the Gamecocks’ losing streak continued after defeating them 76-53.
“It kind of was typical of our season,” JSU head coach James green said. “We were playing one of the best shooting, most discipline teams in our league with the best understanding of what it takes for them to play well. They did that. We’re on the other end of that spectrum.”
“Obviously, you want to be able to win the game. But, it was more of a goal to be able to compete a little bit better than what we did.”
The Gamecocks (10-21, 4-12 in the Ohio Valley Conference) never led at any point in the game. The closest they came was midway through the first half when senior guard Brian Williams tied the game at 13 with two free throws.
It was all Belmont (23-8, 14-2) from that point on. The Bruins took a 43-27 lead into halftime. Their dominance continued in the second half as they led by as many as 27 with just over five minutes to play.
“You can’t let a team like (Belmont) get a good lead like that and get momentum like that,” senior forward Nick Cook said, who finished with five points and eight rebounds. “They don’t make mistakes. They’re a good team, a good ball club. It’s just what they do. You can’t let a team like that get ahead.”
In its proper perspective, JSU finished the season playing against the back-to-back East Division champions and the 2013 OVC Tournament champions. But, if they could do it over again, they would want to have a better showing for the sake of its four seniors who played their final game in a Gamecock uniform.
“We wanted to go out and give all we had for our team,” Williams said, who led JSU with 15 points. “We know it was our last game. Even though we knew we couldn’t make the tournament, we still wanted to give it our all. Just to go out and show we didn’t give up.”
Seniors Giovanni Smith, Rod McReynolds and Cook joined Williams on the court with 2:29 left in the game for one final moment to be on the court together. They all left the court with 57 seconds left and were individually greeted by Green before taking a seat.
“The one thing you have to remember about losing games,” Green said, “you always talk to guys about having class and doing those things. That was something we wanted to do for them. It was somewhat their day. So, we wanted it to be something for them.”