JSU returned home after three straight away games but couldn’t quite keep up with the Skyhawks of UT Martin falling 53-63.

It started well enough for the Gamecocks despite UTM getting the first score.

JSU managed to hold the Skyhawks to their lone two points while the Gamecocks went ahead by seven well into the first quarter.

A missed three-pointer by Gretchen Morrison allowed UTM to finally score another bucket to cut the lead to five at 9-4.

JSU scored another three off a free throw and a layup to go up 12-4. UTM froze the Gamecocks at 12 while they scored four more to close the quarter behind JSU 12-8.

Quarter number two seemed to halt the Gamecocks as UTM came right out with a quick three-pointer to only be down by one at 12-11. After a few back and forth rounds of scoring and two ties later the Skyhawks broke away from JSU to go ahead by eight at 31-23 to close out the half.

Back from halftime the Skyhawks seemed determined to go forward strong. However, Courtney Strain took the initiative for the Gamecocks and scored seven of her own to put JSU within one of the Skyhawks 31-30. However, UTM quickly jumped back out in the lead by five before the Gamecocks took a lone free throw to bring back down to four 35-31.

It was here that the Gamecocks’ momentum seemed to shift. The Skyhawks took off going ahead by 13 at 44-31. A layup by Rayven Pearson gave JSU 33 but it didn’t take long for UTM to be back up by 13 again at 46-33.

The Gamecocks attempted to chip away at the deficit but only managed two more free throws before the close of the third quarter taking the score to 46-35.

The final quarter opened with a JSU jumper that cut the score to nine.

But once again the momentum shifted in the Skyhawks’ direction and led to a series of scores that put the lead back up to 14 in UTM’s favor 52-38. The Gamecocks managed to cut it to nine after a Pearson layup and a three-pointer by Strain. The score went back up by 11 in the favor of UTM after they managed a quick layup. The score sat at 54-43.

JSU sat at 45 while UTM managed to push their lead back out by 11 at 56-45.

A layup by Tyler Phelion cut the lead to nine but a made free throw by the Skyhawks pushed it back out to ten at 57-47. Briana Benson made three to take the score to 59-50 with less than three minutes left. The Gamecocks managed another three while the Skyhawks stayed ahead by ten to take the win 63-53. Courtney Strain led the way in scoring with seven out her 17 field goal attempts. She also made four of the nine three-pointers that she took.  The Gamecocks play Belmont at home Wednesday.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer

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