The Jacksonville State Gamecocks (8-12, 1-5 OVC) fell 55-52 to the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks (11-6, 3-1 OVC) on Saturday in Martin, Tenn.

Avery Moore led the Gamecocks with 17 points. Jamal Hunter led the team with six rebounds, while JaQuail Townser led with three assist.

Coming into the matchup, JSU was averaging 63 points per game and a .369 field goal percentage, while UTM was averaging 71 points per game with a .462 field goal percentage.

UT Martin struck first with 1:23 into the contest. Moore scored first for the Gamecocks with a shot from beyond the arch that was good for three. Another shot by D.J. Felder lifted the Gamecocks to a 5-4 lead.

Unfortunately, JSU did not hold the lead for long. The Skyhawks would go on a 7-for-7 field goal completion run that would produce 14 points. JSU went 2-for-8 during the same four minutes before Moore hit another three-pointer.

UTM would maintain a comfortable 10-12 point lead over the Gamecocks for the remainder of the first period.

The first half saw four lead changes. Jacksonville State lead for 45 seconds. The Gamecocks went 9-for-30 and 4-for-10 from three-point land. UT Martin went 14-for-25, 4-for-6 from behind the arch, and lead for 17:55.

JSU did not score first in the second half, but they scored seven points in the first five minutes. However, the Skyhawks scored 15 and extended the lead to 49-32 with 13 minutes left in the conference contest.

Things started looking up for the Gamecocks at the 13-minute mark. They went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes that brought JSU within 11 points of the Skyhawks.

JSU would go on a 12-0 run within the last eight minutes that allowed them to tie UT Martin. However, the Skyhawks would squeak by the Gamecocks with a score that was only three points better.

JSU improved greatly in the second half. They were able to bring their shooting percentage to 36 percent, while UT Martin’s fell to 50 percent.

The Gamecocks return home on Thursday, Jan. 22, when they take on Eastern Kentucky at 7 p.m. 

Timothy Cash
Staff Writer

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