JACKSON, Miss. - What started as a tight battle of basketball turned into a dunk party for JSU in a 50-35 victory over Alabama A&M. The victory was the tenth of the season as the Tigers defended the AAC once again.
Through the first media break, JSU trailed by four, but immediately after a three-pointer by Cainan McClelland sparked energy into the Tigers who were able to take an 8-6 lead at the 11:53 mark. The defensive pressure was on both sides as the first half reached under four minutes, but JSU held a 17-14 advantage with five points each from McClelland and Tristan Jarrett.
The Bulldogs went on a 5-3 scoring run to close the half and JSU’s lead was cut to 20-19 heading to the locker room.
Jarrett opened up the scoring with a three-pointer from way down town, but Alabama A&M held tight for a 25-24 lead with 15:43 lead. A quick pass from Jonas James to Jayveous McKinnis resulted in a quick layup, but fouls and free throws kept the Bulldogs in the contest tying it up at 27-27 with 12:45 remaining.
McKinnis continued to penetrate the paint with a reverse layup and a pair of free throws from James made the score 31-27 as the half approached 11 minutes. He remained a factor with two more quick layups and reached a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, but the competition wasn’t over as the Tigers’ lead was only six before a thundering reverse dunk out of the break stretched it to 41-31 with five minutes left in regulation.
The highlights kept coming for the junior center as he grabbed the basketball on a bounce off the rim exploding for a two-handed slam that led to a flashy victory, 50-35 of for JSU. The Tigers’ McKinnis finished the night with 15 points and 16 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.
JSU improves to 10-5 overall and 10-0 in the SWAC and returns to action Saturday March 6 at 5:30 pm for senior night vs Alabama State.