The JSU women secured their 19th win of the regular season, breaking the previous record of 18, with a hard-fought win against Morehead State in overtime 83-78.
The Gamecocks had already won 18 games this season. It matched the regular season wins from the 2003-2004 squad. Their 19th win secured them a No. 5 seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament that begins next week and moved them to 10-6 in OVC play.
Destany McLin led the Gamecocks in scoring with 23 total points. Veteran Candace Morton was behind her with 15. JSU was 13-of-19 for free throws on the night with Morton making all four of the ones she took.
It didn’t seem like the game would end in overtime as both teams never seemed willing to surrender their lead once they had it. The game would bounce back and forth between the two. With 24 lead changes and nine tie scores, it was a battle for both JSU and Morehead State.
The first half saw the Gamecocks jump out to score first, but quickly caught up to by MSU to tie it for the first time in the game at two. They would hold on to a lead until a three-pointer by Kelly Naughton at 13:52 put JSU ahead by one at 9-8. The game was tied again at 19 with 7:52 left in the half. Although the Gamecocks went up by three, it only took one shot from MSU’s Almesha Jones to tie the score again, this time at 22.
For the remainder of the half, the score would swap back and forth between the two teams with neither team being ahead by more than three points. McLin would send the Gamecocks into the locker room ahead by two on a good three-pointer.
The second half opened with the score being tied again at 34 after a quick shot from MSU. The game would suddenly turn to the Eagles’ favor as they took control of the score and kept it in their favor being ahead by as many as six twice. JSU would drive and come back into possession of the lead after Morton hit a layup and put the Gamecocks up by one.
At 10:48 the score was again tied, this time at 48. Again the score bounced back and forth between the two until the 23 second mark saw a Gretchen Morrison free throw tie the score for the final time in regulation at 68.
The Eagles scored the first points of overtime and went ahead of the Gamecocks by two. However, it would be the last time that the lead favored MSU. JSU went on a scoring spree and led by as many as seven, their highest lead of the night. The Eagles would manage to come within five, but the game would end with the Gamecocks in the lead 83-78
The Gamecocks open tournament play against Belmont March 5.