JACKSONVILLE – The first half proved too costly for the Jacksonville State men's basketball team on Saturday, when Austin Peay managed to escape Pete Mathews Coliseum with a 66-64 overtime win.
The Gamecocks (8-11, 4-5 Ohio Valley Conference) fell behind by 11 to start the game and by as many as 13 in the second half but managed to force the game into overtime and even got a 3-point look win it at the horn, but John Barnes' attempt from the right wing bounced off the back iron. The win was the seventh in a row in the series for the Govs (11-10, 5-4 OVC), who move in to sole possession of fourth place in the league standings at the halfway point of the conference schedule.
Jacksonville State got a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds from senior Amadou Mbodji and 17 points and eight boards from junior Trenton Marshall, but it was the Govs' first-half effort that proved too much for the Gamecocks to overcome. The visitors shot 53 percent in the opening half to race out to a seven-point lead at the intermission, only to watch Jax State claw back in front of a crowd of just under 1,900 fans.
Mbodji, a 6-foot-10 forward from Senegal, set a season high in the scoring column, going 6-for-10 from the floor. His dozen boards tied a career best, while he also notched three blocks and had a steal in 35 minutes of action off of the bench.
Marshall, a forward from Garyville, La., scored all of his 17 points after halftime, when he took an 0-for-6 effort into the locker room. Sophomore Stephen Hall was a rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards. He rounded out a trio of Gamecocks in double figures, while Jeremy Bynum and Dominique Shellman added nine and eight points, respectively.
Bynum, a junior guard from Oxford, Ala., scored all nine of his points on three first-half treys, enough to move him to 148 3-pointers made in his career. That mark breaks the previous Division I record for career 3-pointers, 147 by Jay Knowlton in the mid-1990s. He only got one shot off in the game's final 25 minutes.
Shellman dished eight assists, while Marshall distributed four for the Gamecocks.
Austin Peay turned to its leading scorer, Wes Channels, who managed 23 points and 10 rebounds to lift his team to the overtime win. Channels needed 24 field goal attempts to make nine, while he also had three assists and three of the Govs' 14 turnovers. Duran Roberson also had a double-double for Peay with 12 points and 10 boards, and Justin Blake added 14 points.
Both teams had a terrible night from the free throw line, combining to go 12-for-28 from the stripe. After an early dominance on the glass by the Govs, they held on for a 46-42 advantage in the game.
The Govs opened the game by scoring its first 11 points then watched JSU cut it to two in the final eight minutes of the half. APSU answered the Gamecocks' run with one if its own, scoring the next eight and then pushing it back to 11 on a Roberson jumper with 1:43 before the half. A pair of Nick Murphy free throws and a Shellman jumper cut the deficit to 38-31 at the intermission.
After Marshall's first bucket of the night, a runner just 18 seconds into the second half, cut the Govs' lead to five, they scored the next eight to stretch the score to 46-33, their largest of the night.
The Gamecocks went to work on the lead from there, scoring 10 unanswered, all by Marshall, to cut it to a three-point game at 46-43 with 12:23 to play. Channels broke up the run with a jumper with 11:08 to play, the Govs' last field goal for well over six minutes. JSU used the drought to its advantage, building its first and largest lead of the night, a 51-48 edge with 5:09 remaining.
The Gamecocks maintained the three-point advantage until the 3:34 mark, when a Channels trey tied it at 53-53. After a Mbodji layup and a Tyrone Caldwell basket pushed the score to 55-55 with 1:56 to play, neither team could break the tie before the horn sent the game into overtime.
The Govs scored nine of the first 11 points in the extra period to build a 64-57 lead with just under a minute to play, but their woes from the line allowed JSU back in it. A Hall dunk with 41 ticks on the clock led to a foul and a pair of missed free throws from Roberson. Murphy then went to the line for JSU but missed the front end of his one-and-one, forcing another foul that resulted in a pair of misses from Caleb Brown.
Shellman cut the lead to 64-62 with a 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play, and after Brown made one of two free throws, another Hall dunk pulled the Gamecocks to within one with 13 seconds on the clock.
Brown again made one of his two free throw attempts, setting the stage for the Gamecocks' attempt at the winner. Trailing by two, Marshall drove from the left wing but lost control. The loose ball bounced to Barnes on the right wing, but his attempt didn't fall.
The Gamecocks will continue their four-game homestand on Thursday, when Southeast Missouri pays a visit to Pete Mathews Coliseum for a 7:45 p.m. game. The men's game will follow the women's game against SEMO, which will begin at 5:15 p.m.