A Brian Williams runner with nine seconds to play was put on the board, giving the Jacksonville State men’s basketball team a 67-65 win over Southeast Missouri on a Senior Night that saw the duo of Ronnie Boggs and Tarvin Gaines record double-doubles.
Williams’ floater hit the glass before being knocked away by SEMO’s Nino Johnson, resulting in a game-winning goaltending call. The winner capped a furious second-half rally that saw the Gamecocks (16-10, 8-7 Ohio Valley Conference) overcome a nine-point Redhawks (14-14, 6-8 OVC) lead with 13 minutes remaining.
Gaines finished with a game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds while Boggs added 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to help the Gamecocks finish with a perfect 6-0 record over the OVC’s Western Division. The double-double by the senior duo marks the first time two JSU players have recorded a double-double in the same game since Boggs and junior Nick Cook finished with double-doubles on Feb. 14, 2012 against Tennessee State. The win also locks up JSU’s first back-to-back .500 records in conference play since joining the league in 2003-04.
On a night that saw Boggs, Gaines and fellow seniors Rinaldo Mafra and Mason Leggett play their final game in Pete Mathews Coliseum, sophomore Darion Rackley also had a memorable game. Playing in his first game since injuring his hand in a Jan. 11 practice, he finished with 11 points, all of which came in the second half. The St. Louis Mo., native scored in double-figures for the 12th-straight game on a day in which he didn’t learn he would be able to return until the team’s shootraround.
Williams also finished in double figures with 10 points, while dishing five assists. It was the ninth time in his last 11 games in which he has tossed at least five assists.
The Redhawks were led by four players in double-figures. Marland Smith finished with a team-high 16 points while Corey Wilford added 15 points. Tyler Stone finished with 12 points while Johnson recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
SEMO took a 36-28 lead into the half in large part to a 48.3 percent (14-of-29) field goal percentage, including knocking down 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Gamecocks were led by Gaines with 12 first half points, but shot just 33.3 percent (11-of-33) in the half.
Trailing 53-48 with 9:37 to go in the game, Rackley knocked down his first points of the game with a 3-point shot that sparked a 12-2 run that gave the Gamecocks a 60-55 lead. He combined with Williams to score the final 19 points of the game for Jax State.
The Redhawks responded with an 8-0 run to tie the game with 41 seconds left at 65-65 following a 3-point shot from Nick Niemczyk, his only basket of the game. Williams then held the ball at midcourt before driving as the shot clock expired and drew the game-winning points.
The Gamecocks will now travel to Asheville, N.C., where they will face NC Asheville in a 3:30 p.m. CT game on Saturday that will be part of the Ramada BracketBusters event.
Release Provided By Jacksonville State Athletics