Daniel Mayes, Chanty Sports Reporter
In their first action since taking the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis during the NCAA tournament, the Jacksonville State Men’s basketball team had a great exhibition outing.
After falling in a quick 6-0 hole to begin the game, Jacksonville State had no problem in demolishing their Division II exhibition opponent Delta State 78–41 on Thursday November 2.
The Statesmen hit on their first two shots, both of which came from behind the three-point arc, before Christian Cunningham made the first bucket for JSU on a lay-in after a steal.
Cunningham was the star of the night for JSU, as the junior forward led the Gamecocks with 11 points on 4-4 shooting and stuffed the stat sheet with nine rebounds, two steals and five blocks, four of which occurred in the first half.
Jacksonville State erased the 6-0 start with a dozen straight points in just under three minutes to make the score 12-6.
The Gamecocks never looked back, cruising to a lead that grew as large as 41 points in the second half.
The Gamecocks held the Statesmen, who were ranked 25 in the preseason Division II poll, to just 27% shooting and forced 23 turnovers. Jacksonville State Coach Ray Harper played a lot of players a lot of minutes, and every Gamecock that saw action scored.
JSU’s offense was led by a balanced scoring effort, with six different Gamecocks scoring between 8 and 11 points.
Those players included newcomers Jason Burnell, Jamall Gregory and Cam Martin, who, along with Maurice Dunlap and Marlon Hunter, took the court in a Jacksonville State uniform for the first time.
The Gamecocks officially tipoff year two of the Ray Harper Era of Jacksonville State Hoops on Friday, November 10 when JSU takes on Tennessee Wesleyan.
The game is set for 7 p.m. at Pete Mathews Coliseum.