Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shocked the world

The JSU basketball faithful expected good things from the hiring of James Green as coach, but maybe not this fast.

The Gamecocks became the latest giant killers in the basketball world -- joining, among others, Mercer and (Saturday's opponent) VMI -- when they stunned Massachusetts Monday night 75-74.

Mercer, of course, swept Alabama and Auburn. VMI outgunned Kentucky with 108 points.

JSU, a 17-point underdog, scored the last six points of the game in the final 23 seconds to pull it off. Brandon Crawford hit a big four-point play and Jonathan Toles scored the winning basket with eight seconds left.

“Coach told me to go with it on the last shot,” Toles said. “I wasn’t thinking about getting fouled, because they weren’t fouling me all night, so I just went to the basket and made it. I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the ball for a chance at a game winner. All of the hard work we’ve put in paid off for us tonight.”

It has to be the Gamecocks' biggest victory since moving to Division I. They almost beat Arkansas a couple years ago, but they closed the deal on this night.

Of course, the game that won the Division II national championship was the biggest win they've ever had. What other games would fit into your list of JSU's all-time top 10 biggest basketball victories.

Response welcome.


Ben Cunningham said...

Hard to say. I'll have to look some of this up later and come up with a definite answer. Some of the games in the A-Sun series with Georgia State, perhaps? Conference tourney victories in the A-Sun and/or OVC?

Michael Amberson said...

I guess one that comes to mind is JSU's victory over Troy in the first round of the A-Sun Tourney in 2002. Also, the win over EKU in the 2006 OVC tourney. That was the first D-I playoff game at the Pete.

al muskewitz said...

If I remember right, the Troy win in the tournament came after they got beat in one of the last two regular season games. The EKU game came after BJ Spencer got suspended. Speaking of playing shorthanded, what about one of Mike LaPlante's favorite wins -- the Iron Five game in Charleston, when he played only five players all night because he disciplined the rest for cutting up in the hotel the night before (after a loss). As far as big wins, I was thinking over higher level DIs and one over East Carolina is the only other one that comes to mind.