Cold shooting proves costly to Gamecocks
Senior Tarvin Gaines recorded his first double-double of the year and led four players in double figures but the Jacksonville State men’s basketball team would fall 73-62 to Eastern Kentucky Saturday afternoon at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

Gaines led the Gamecocks (12-7, 4-4 Ohio Valley Conference) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but the Gamecocks shot a season-low 31 percent (18-of-58) from the floor and 26.9 percent (7-of-26) from behind the three-point line. The Colonels (15-4, 5-1 OVC) were led by Corey Walden’s and Mike DiNunno’s 28 and 24 points, respectively, on a day in which EKU shot an impressive 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from the floor.

Junior Brian Williams scored 11 second half points and finished the game with 14 points and five assists. Senior Ronnie Boggs added 11 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists while junior Rico Sanders scored a season-high 10 points off the bench for JSU.

Walden and DiNunno combined to go 16-of-16 from the free throw line for the Colonels, who finished the game 21-of-25 (84 percent) from the charity stripe. The scoring duo was the only EKU players to score in double figures in the game.

The Colonels raced out to a 36-22 halftime lead after outscoring the Gamecocks 24-10 over the final 10:58 of the first half. EKU connected on 13-of-28 (46.4 percent) shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from behind the three-point line. EKU, which entered the game ranked No. 3 in the nation with a plus 6.1 turnover margin, forced nine first-half JSU turnovers and scored 13 points off those turnovers.

The Gamecocks would finish the game with a 13-10 edge in the turnover category, grabbing a 9-1 advantage in the turnover column in the second half. The Gamecocks also out-rebounded the Colonels in the game, finishing with a season high 21 offensive rebounds while holding the rebounding edge 37-31.

Sanders hit back-to-back threes to cut the EKU lead to 11 with 10:57 left in the game. The Colonels would go on to lead by as many as 16 with 6:15 left following a layup by DiNunno.

JSU would manage to cut the lead to six at 63-57 following a 3-point shot from Williams with 2:51 left, but that would be as close as the Gamecocks would get as the Colonels would hit 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to preserve the 73-62 victory.

The Gamecocks will return to action at The Pete for a pair of OVC games against Austin Peay and Murray State. JSU will take on the Governors on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then host the Racers on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
© 2013