MORAGA, Calif. – The Jacksonville State men's basketball team went cold from the floor in the second half on Monday night, when the Gamecocks dropped a 71-68 game to San Francisco State in the consolation round of the Saint Mary's Shamrock Classic.
The Gamecocks (2-5) built an early lead on the Gators (2-5) but couldn't hold them off in the second half. SF State shot 57 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes and took advantage of 22 JSU turnovers to grab the win.
JSU had four players score in double figures, led by junior Mason Leggett's 17 that came from a 6-for-7 night from the floor and a 5-for-6 effort from the free throw line. The guard from Zachary, La., scored 11 of his output in the second half. Freshman Darion Rackley added 13 points that were fueled by a 4-for-4 night from behind the 3-point line.
JSU dominated the glass in the first half before dropping the battle of the boards in the second 20 minutes. The Gators used that to win the overall rebounding war, 32-28. Junior Ronnie Boggs grabbed nine rebounds just one night after pulling down the same number to set a career high. Griffin Reilly led SF State with 10, which combined with his 11 points for a double-double. The Gatos' Nefi Perdomo led all players with 24 points, thanks in large part to an 11-for-12 night from the free throw line. James Albright added 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half.
The Gamecocks jumped on the Gators early on and built as much as an 11-point lead at 19-8 with 11:14 remaining in the opening half. JSU struggled protecting the basketball for much of the half, turning it over 12 times in the first 20 minutes.
The Gators took advantage of JSU's miscues, getting 10 points from Perdomo to close the half on a 19-11 run that cut JSU's lead to 30-27 at the half.
Eight different Gamecocks scored in the half, led by Hall's seven points.
The Gators continued to claw back early in the second half and turned another JSU turnover into an Albright dunk that gave them a 35-34 lead with 15:37 to play, their first of the night.
Hall answered with a quick hook and Tarvin Gaines knocked down a long 3-pointer to put JSU back in front, 39-35 with 14:50 to play. The two exchanged leads five times before SF State put together a 16-3 run that put JSU in a 59-47 hole with less than four minutes remaining.
After the Gators held a 61-50 lead at the 2:49 mark, the Gamecocks scored seven in a row to pull to within four at 61-57 at the 2:00 mark. SF State pulled back out by eight but watched the Gamecocks pull to within a bucket at 65-63 on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Leggett. SF State held on, however, connecting from the line to hold off JSU and hand the Gamecocks their third-straight defeat.
JSU will continue its six-game road swing on Thursday, when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to face USC Upstate. The game will tip at 6 p.m. CT and will be carried on the Gamecock Sports Network with Mike Parris calling the action.