JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State women's basketball team dropped its Ohio Valley Conference opener as Tennessee Tech topped JSU, 73-51, on Saturday afternoon at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the JSU campus.
The loss dropped the Gamecocks to 0-13 on the season, while TTU improved to 7-6 on the season and secured its first conference win of the season. The Golden Eagles have now won nine in the series with Jax State.
The Gamecocks started fast by jumping out to a 6-0 lead three minutes into the game, bur relinquished the lead the rest of the way after Tech took its first lead at 8-6 at the 16-minute mark. After the only tie of the game at 13-all with 13:19 left in the first half, the Golden Eagles took control and eventually built its first double-digit lead of 11 points at 34-23 with four minutes left in the first half. After back-to-back lay ups by Jax State to trim the deficit to seven points, TTU's Diamond Henderson drilled a three-point basket in the waning second of the half to give the Purple and Gold a 37-27 advantage at the break.
The three-point shot aided TTu's scoring run as it knocked down seven of its nine three pointers in the first half. Tech's Lashay Davis connected on 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, with all four coming in the first 20 minutes. Davis finished the contest with 12 points.
TTU opened the second half with a 12-1 scoring run to break open the game and push the lead out to 21 points at 49-28 at the 13:40 mark. The Gamecocks' first basket of the half came with 12:57 left in the game after senior Danielle Vaughn had a put-back basket. Vaughn, the Huntsville, Ala.-native, saw her first action of the season in the OVC lid lifter. She finished with six points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Vaughn was also credited with an assist and a block.
The Golden Eagles extended the margin out to a game-high 26 points on two occasions in the final seven minutes of the half. After shooting 40 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, TTU was even better in the second half as it knocked down 48 percent from the field. JSU was limited to 24 percent from the field in the final half as it made just nine baskets.
JSU had the edge on the boards by a plus-two margin, 43-41, and has out-rebounded the opposition for the eighth time and third consecutive game.
TTU was led by Jala Harris, who poured in 16 points. Molly Heady pitched in 13 points, while Henderson came off the bench for 11 points.
The Gamecocks will have their first OVC road test on Monday, Dec. 31 as they travel to Martin, Tenn. to face the Skyhawks of UTM. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. and will be available on the Gamecock Sports Network and the OVC Digital Network.