Gamecocks top Presbyterian
CLINTON, S.C. – After a cold-shooting night in regulation, the Jacksonville State men’s basketball team got going in overtime to pull off a 66-59 road win over Presbyterian on Saturday, extending the Gamecocks’ best start in their Division I history.

The Gamecocks (8-2) scored on every possession in the extra frame and used a career-high 24 points from junior Brian Williams to grab their fifth win in a row. They handed the Blue Hose (2-8) their first home loss in a young season that has seen them play one of the tougher schedules in college basketball.

After a long 3-pointer from Williams just before the half, the Lawrenceville, Ga., native went to work, scoring the first nine points in the second half and connecting on a career-high six 3-pointers. He scored 16 points after the half to team with senior Tarvin Gaines and sophomore Darion Rackley to combine for 56 of the Gamecocks’ 66 points.

Gaines scored 17 points, 12 after the half, and Rackley added 15 in the win. The trio keyed a rally after a 19-point first half and shot 52 percent from the floor the rest of the way to stave off a hungry Presbyterian team that had won two of its last three gtames.

Williams big night was the Gamecocks’ third 20-point effort in the last two games after Rackley (27) and Boggs (20) achieved the feat in a Tuesday win over Martin Methodist.

Boggs scored only five in Saturday’s win but contributed in another way. The senior led all players with 10 rebounds, a number that led to a 30-29 JSU advantage on the glass.

The Blue Hose were led by their leading scorer Khalid Mutakabbir, who scored 17 points. William Truss, a Birmingham native, added 15 points and eight boards for PC.

The Gamecocks were ice cold from the floor to start the game and even suffered through an 8:20 stretch without a field goal, but a Williams 3-pointer at the buzzer gave them just a 22-19 deficit at the half.

The Gamecocks got to the free throw line early in the second half and three Rackley charity shots with 17:37 to play tied the game at 26-26, the first tie since it was 2-2 just 46 seconds after tipoff.

The Blue Hose answered with a couple of buckets but two 3-pointers from Rackley, the second with 14:51 gave the Gamecocks their first lead since their 2-0 lead to start at 34-33.

Presbyterian battled back to tie the score again at 35-35, but Williams answered with a trey from the left wing that gave the Gamecocks a 38-35 lead with just over 12 minutes to play. Williams then knocked down two more that keyed a JSU run and gave the Gamecocks a 44-37 lead, their largest to that point.

The Blue Hose made their run, holding JSU without a field goal from the 7:16 mark to the 1:58 mark. They were able to reclaim the lead with just over three minutes to play on Williams Truss’s second 3-point field goal of the year, a shot that gave PC a 47-46 lead.

After an exchange of free throws, PC tied it at 50-50 and then got a stop to get the ball with 34 seconds left and supposedly a chance to take the final shot. The Blue Hose couldn’t inbound the ball, however, and gave JSU that final attempt in regulation.

Williams found a lane as time expired but his floater missed long to send the game into overtime.

The Gamecocks went to work from the floor in the extra period, getting points on every possession and connecting on five of their six field goal attempts, including a 3-for-3 effort from 3-point land in overtime.

The Gamecocks will conclude their trip on Tuesday with an 8 p.m. CT game at Nebraska in Lincoln. The game will be carried on the JSU Radio Network and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
© 2012