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JSU women: Elliott scores 18 in Gamecocks' loss at Vanderbilt

Basketball teaser

After a tight first half, Jacksonville State couldn't keep pace with Vanderbilt in the Gamecocks' women's basketball season opener on Tuesday.

JSU fell 88-66 in Nashville after trailing only 44-41 at halftime.

Destiney Elliott, a senior forward, led the Gamecocks with 18 points and seven rebounds. Both figures were team highs. She also blocked two shots.

Five to know

—JSU coach Rick Pietri started Elliott, junior guard Taylor Hawks, junior guard Kiana Johnson, senior forward Chloe Long and junior forward Jessie Day. All are deep in starting experience, except Day, who was making the fifth start of her JSU career.

—Hawks had 12 points and four assists, while Long had only two points but grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots. Johnson contributed four points, five rebounds and a pair of steals.

—Nekiyah Thompson, a freshman guard, scored 11 points off the bench as she made a pair of baskets and sanks 7 of 10 from the foul line.

—JSU averaged five 3-pointers a game last year but made 10 against Vanderbilt, including five from Elliott and two from Hawks.

—JSU trailed 25-12 after one quarter but outscored Vandy 29-12 in the second period. The Commodores then held JSU scoreless for the first 5:02 of the second half to go up 52-41. Vandy never led by less than seven points after that.

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