The Skyhawks beat the Gamecocks 93-63 during a New Year’s Eve match.
Tipoff was won by the Skyhawks. For a while it seemed the teams were evenly matched. The Gamecocks kept it competitive in the beginning of the first half, staying within 10 to 12 points. But by the end of the first half, the Gamecocks were losing rhythm as the Skyhawks picked up steam. With 3:31 left in the first, the Skyhawks had pulled ahead by fourteen, making the score 38-24. They extended their leave at halftime with a score of 52-27.
“You keep doing what you got to do regardless of what the scoreboard says,” said head coach Kevin McMillan.
With the start of the second half, the Skyhawks could not stop the Gamecocks as they went on a 7-0 run.
“At the beginning of the second half, we let up and we can’t do that,” said McMillan.
The Skyhawks knew if they didn’t step up their game, they would lose. With a fire lit under them, the team lit into Jacksonville State, widening their lead by 22 points. By the time the clock hit 5:50, they were leading 81-55. An entire freshmen squad played the last three minutes of the game, bringing the score to 93-63 at the end.
Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome lit up the scoreboard all afternoon long. Butler finished the evening with 35 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Newsome hit 32 points, had two rebounds and five steals. Senior forward Rickiesha Bryant hit a career high with a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The Skyhawks return to action against Murray State Saturday Jan. 5 at 4 p.m. To keep up with game, follow The Pacer on Facebook and Twitter, @thepacer.