The eight seeded Jacksonville Titans knocked off the number one seed Sam Houston, Texas 60-54 in the Thursday nightcap of the King Cotton Holiday Classic
“I don’t think they realize the magnitude of what they just did with this tournament,” said Jacksonville head coach Victor Joyner. “They kids just wanted to play games because of our schedule we haven’t played a lot of games. They are just hungry to play, so to them it is just another win, and they are ready to play tomorrow.”
The Titans started early outscoring Sam Houston 18-14 in the first period led by TJ Stewart and Oklahoma State commit Devonte Davis with eight and four points respectively. The Titans shot 60 percent while Sam Houston shot 42.9 percent in the opening period of the game.
Sam Houston was able to pull within three at in the second period behind 11 points from Chris Green after going five-of-nine from the charity stripe. Mykel Moore helped Jacksonville hold a 33-30 lead at the break with six points, two rebounds, and a steal.
Production fell off for the Titans in the third period where they shot 31.3 percent while Sam Houston shot 58.3 percent. Green added another five points while Earl Banks scored six and Tarron Mingo hit a critical three-point shot late in the period to give Sam Houston the 48-47 advantage at the end of three.
Momentum quickly flipped in the final period of the game as Jacksonville shot 41.7 percent while Sam Houston’s production plummeted to 18.8 percent. Sam Houston struggled to contain Moore, Davis, and Stewart as Jacksonville outscored them 13-6 in the final period to earn the 60-64 victory.
Jacksonville shot 45.5 percent for the game while Sam Houston shot 41.5 percent. Sam Houston had the advantage from behind the three-point line, shooting 33 percent to Jacksonville’s 18.8 percent. Sam Houston shot 53.8 percent from the charity stripe, while Jacksonville hit 50 percent of their free throws.
Jacksonville moves on to play Gulliver Prep at 6 p.m. Friday, while Sam Houston will play Columbus, Mississippi, at 1:30 p.m. in the first elimination game of the tournament.