Grant Benefield, Chanty Sports Reporter
In a final tune-up before kicking off their regular season on the 10th, Jacksonville State women’s basketball defeated Alabama-Huntsville 63-47 at home on Sunday.
Despite having to replace three of last year’s starters and welcome seven new faces to the team, the Gamecocks exercised superb ball control against the Chargers, taking 72 shots to UAH’s 42 and surrendering just nine turnovers to the Chargers’ 23.
UAH led the Gamecocks 14-13 after the first period, but JSU took the lead in the second and didn’t look back, outscoring the Chargers 17-11, 20-12, and 13-10 across the final three periods.
JSU’s two returning starters, senior forwards Cocoa Phelion and Tasha Magruder, had solid days contributing four points each in their 24 and 22 minutes played, respectively.
Phelion also added 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
But it was newcomer Brianna Perry who led the way for the Gamecocks on Sunday.
In 12 minutes of playing time, the junior guard from Mesquite, TX, went 3-13 from the field, including one 3-point basket, for 13 points.
She also collected 6 rebounds and four assists.
Gamecocks Chloe Long and Kiana Johnson also contributed to the Jax State offense, scoring eight points each. Long also grabbed five boards and dished two assists.
For UAH, Chandler Elder led the team with 18 points on 6-11 shooting from the field.
She also added four rebounds and two steals.
With the promising exhibition performance under their belt, The Gamecocks look primed to improve on last year’s performance in 2017-18. Last year, Jax State went 13-15 overall and 6-10 in OVC play, just missing out on an OVC tournament appearance.
This will be head coach Rick Pietri’s fifth season at the helm of the women’s basketball team, and he has already become the fourth winningest coach in the program’s history, and the second winningest coach since the team moved to Division I in 1995.
Pietri also won 2013-14 OVC Coach of the Year honors.
The Gamecocks will open their regular season schedule on November 10th as they host Brewton-Parker at 5:30 pm.