JSU women get first win of season in final home conference game
The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team sent it two seniors out in grand fashion with a thrilling 60-57 win over Southeast Missouri on Saturday evening at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The win snapped a 26-game skid this season and a streak that dates back to the final ten games of last season.  The last Jax State win came on Jan. 14 at Austin Peay.  The Gamecocks were victorious for the first time on the home floor since a Dec. 4, 2011 win over in-state rival Troy.  The win over SEMO is the first since January of 2011 in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

After the Gamecocks had maintained a lead since the 18:41 mark of the first half, Southeast Missouri’s Allyson Bradshaw drilled a three-point basket with 36 seconds left in the contest to knot it at 57-all.  Sophomore Candace Morton hit the first of a two-shot free throw opportunity to re-gain the lead at 58-57 with 17 seconds left to play. 

Sophomore Miranda Cantrell pulled down her ninth rebound on the missed free throw and connected on one of two at the line to give JSU a two-point, 59-57 advantage.

The Jax State defense stood tall on SEMO’s next trip down the floor and forced the Redhawks’ 15th turnover of the game.  Freshman Destany McLin sealed the win with a free throw with one second left.

Jax State built a double digit lead by the 8:12 mark of the opening half after McLin knocked down a trey.  McLin, from Athenns, turned in 15 points off the bench.  It was also her best scoring outing of the season and the fourth time this season she has posted double figures in the scoring column.  JSU would take a nine-point, 31-22 lead in to the halftime break.  The Gamecocks forced 10 SEMO turnovers in the first 20 minutes and scored 14 of their 31 points off those miscues.  The Red and White, who had just five turnovers in the first half, finished with 12 turnovers – the second-lowest this season (11 vs. Kennesaw State). 

Playing in her final home game of her Jax State career, Danielle Vaughn turned in her 20th double-double of her career and the 44th game of her career in double figures scoring. 

The Huntsville, Ala.-post player scored eight of her final 10 points in the first half to spark the Gamecocks’ offense.  Vaughn pulled down 11 rebounds in 31 minutes of action.  Cantrell continued her string of double figures in the scoring column to six games with 15 points and nine rebounds.  She matched her career high in assists with three.

Fellow senior Amanda McCarthy added five points and a pair of boards in her home finale.  Morton turned in six points and seven rebounds in the win.

JSU withstood a SEMO run in the second half after it matched its biggest lead of the contest at 45-32 at the 11:49 mark.  The Redhawks got within a point at 55-54 with 1:19 left after a Brittany Harriel jumper.  JSU’s next possession resulted in a basket by McLin before Bradshaw’s game-tying trey.

SEMO was led by Bradshaw’s 15 points, followed by Harriel’s 14-point effort.

Jax State closes out the 2012-13 season in Nashville, Tenn. with a visit to Belmont on Saturday, March 2.  Tip off is set for 3 p.m.
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