JSU set for opening contest in The Bahamas

Game Notes: Jacksonville State | Valparaiso

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Jacksonville State will play its first game outside of the United States since Nov. 21, 2018, tomorrow when it meets Valparaiso for the first time in the opening round of the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship.
 
JSU (1-2) previous played and defeated both Western Carolina and North Florida in Cancun, Mexico in 2018 as part of the Mayan Division Bracket of the Cancun Challenge that season. It enters this week’s tournament coming off a tough 69-65 triple overtime setback at Troy last Tuesday.
 
The Gamecocks were originally slated to face Abilene Christian, but the Wildcats were unable to participate due to Covid-19 protocols. The eight-team tournament was trimmed to seven and the opening round matchups were reshuffled pitting Jax State against the Beacons of Valpo (0-3).
 
Monday’s contest tips at 5:30 local time and 4:30 for JSU’s Central Time Zone. The entire tournament will broadcast on FloHoops, a subscription-based service. Once back in The States, the Gamecocks’ Saturday meeting at Elon will also stream on FloHoops making four-straight games on the platform.
 
Following junior Jalen Finch’s career-high 20 points at Troy, three Gamecocks are averaging double figures this season led by senior Darian Adams at 15.3 per game. All five of JSU’s primary starters have more than five rebounds per game, while Juwan Perdue and Maros Zeliznak have each pitched in more than three a game off the bench. JSU’s rebounding has been a strength early, and could provide multiple opportunities Monday against a Valpo squad than has one of the lower rebounding marks in the country through the opening two weeks of action.
 
Head coach Ray Harper, already JSU’s winningest coach at the Division I level, will become the fourth JSU head man all-time to reach 100 wins for the Red and White with Jax State’s first win this week. The winner of JSU/Valpo will advance to face Coastal Carolina who was the beneficiary of a first-round bye after ACU reshuffled the bracket. The Chanticleers are one of the two teams in the field the Gamecocks have played before, holding a 1-1 series deadlock after the most recent meeting in 2005. Tulane, the other team, topped JSU 59-51 in December of 2011.
 
Along with Valpo, JSU has the chance to meet Drexel, Charlotte or Toledo for the first time this week.
 

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