A year after winning only one game, JSU (9-14, 5-5 Ohio Valley Conference) has won five of its last six games. The Gamecocks have won three straight and back-to-back games on the road. They also halted Austin Peay’s four-game win streak as the Lady Govs dropped to 7-14, including 4-4 in league play.
Destany McLin chipped in 12 points and five rebounds. Junior Miranda Cantrell had 12 points and eight rebounds. She battled APSU’s Tearra Banks, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Jennifer Nwokocha finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Govs.
The Gamecocks wrap up their three-game road trip Saturday in Morehead, Ky., facing Morehead State at 3:15 p.m. That will follow the JSU men’s contest with MSU that gets underway 1 p.m.
After having a comfortable lead throughout the contest, including an 54-39 advantage at the 13:27 mark of the second half, the Gamecocks saw the Lady Govs make a run. Senior Nicole Olszewski scored all 16 of her points in the second half, including a pair of treys. The Jax State lead dwindled, and the Gamecocks eventually fell behind with 6:57 left when an Olszewski basket gave APSU a 57-56 lead. Benson responded with baskets in back-to-back trips down the floor to regain the lead 60-57.
APSU took just its second lead of the contest at the 1:16 mark after Tiasha Gray scored a layup and drew a foul. Gray’s free throw gave the Lady Govs a 65-64 lead, but on JSU’s next possession, junior Candace Morton drew the foul and knocked down a pair of free throws. Benson sealed the win with a basket with 18 seconds left and then was key on APSU’s final possession, grabbing her fourth rebound of the night. She matched her career high with a free throw with one second to play.
Benson previously scored 17 points against George Washington in December. She was 7-of-14 from the field in 30 minutes of action. Morton scored 23 points as a freshman against APSU, and she matched that feat Monday as she knocked down 6-of-12 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.