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JSU men: Finch goes basket to basket for a last-second layup

JSU Morehead St. bball

JSU's Jalen Finch is guarded by Morehead State's Johni Broome during the JSU vs Morehead State OVC mens basketball game. Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star

Jalen Finch drove the length of the floor and made a layup while getting fouled to lift Jacksonville State to a 77-76 win at Tennessee State on Saturday.

JSU trailed almost the whole game, with the deficit reaching 10 with six minutes to play.

Heading into a wild last minute, TSU held a six-point lead at 73-67. Finch made a 3-pointer to cut the advantage in half.

After Tennessee State's Shakem Johnson got called for an offensive foul, JSU's Darian Adams sank a 3-pointer to tie the game 73-73 with 23 seconds left. Teammate Jay Pal followed with a steal, in which he drew a foul. Pal sank two free throws with 19 seconds left to inch the Gamecocks ahead 75-73.

TSU's Mark Freeman answered with a basket with five seconds left while drawing a foul from Finch. Freeman made the free throw for a 76-75 lead.

That's when Finch made his basket-to-basket run. He took the inbounds pass from Kayne Henry, zig-zagged down the court and made an underhanded layup in the final second as Shakwon Barrett fouled him. He missed the free throw, but it didn't matter, as there was no time left for TSU to do anything with it.

Four to know

—JSU (15-8, 11-6 OVC) is in fourth place in the league standings, comfortably ahead of fifth-place Austin Peay (14-10, 10-8) and sixth-place Murray State (12-10, 9-8). JSU will play Murray State at home Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Austin Peay at home Saturday at 4 p.m.

—The OVC has announced that its annual eight-team tournament tournament will feature a balanced bracket with No. 1 playing No. 8, No. 2 playing No. 7, No. 3 playing No. 6, and No. 4 playing No. 5 in the opening round.

—Adams had 19 points against Tennessee State (4-17, 3-15) and three rebounds. Finch had 18 points with five assists and only one turnover in 35 minutes of playing time.

—Brandon Huffman added 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while Pal had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals, and Henry 10 points and six rebounds.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.