Huffman’s Jacksonville State team wins regular-season ASUN title; Brooks, Kessler meet this week

By R.L. Bynum

Brandon Huffman and Seventh Woods didn’t put up good numbers last week but their teams each had two good victories. But it was an up-and-down week for Garrison Brooks, Walker Kessler and Walker Miller ahead of a week when former Carolina teammates will meet.

Huffman’s Jacksonville State team finished the regular season at home with an 81–68 win over Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday and a 69–52 victory Saturday over North Alabama to win the West Division, the regular-season league title and the top seed in the ASUN Tournament.

The Gamecocks (20–9, 13–3 ASUN) play a quarterfinal game at home at 7 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Tuesday’s Kennesaw State at Eastern Kentucky game. If Jacksonville State keeps winning, it would play the semifinals at home on Saturday and the championship game at home on Tuesday, March 8.

Huffman, a senior, had six points and seven rebounds in the Eastern Kentucky victory and five points, four rebounds and a career-high-tying four blocks in the North Alabama win.


Woods’ Morgan State team (10–13, 5–6 MEAC) beat Norfolk State at home Monday 85–74 and won 76–69 on Saturday at Delaware State. Woods had eight points and three rebounds on Monday and four points and two rebounds Saturday.


After Kessler had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks in Auburn’s 77–64 Wednesday home win over Mississippi, he collected eight points, five rebounds and four blocks in the Tigers’ 67–62 road loss at Tennessee on Saturday.

The Tigers were part of history as it was the first time the top six teams in the AP Top 25 all lost on the same day and fell from No. 3 to No. 5 in the poll. Auburn (25–4, 13–3 SEC) still leads the league by a game over Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Kessler’s 135 blocks this season is an Auburn program record.


Brooks had a tough week who collected two points and eight rebounds in Mississippi State’s Wednesday’s 66–56 loss at South Carolina. The Bulldogs rebounded with a 74–69 home win over Coach Jerry Stackhouse’s Vanderbilt team Saturday, with Brooks contributing six points, four rebounds and four assists.

Mississippi State (17–12, 8–8) is in a four-way tie with Florida, South Carolina and LSU for sixth place.

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Former Carolina teammates meet at 9 p.m. Wednesday (SEC Network) when Kessler’s Auburn team visits Brooks’ Mississippi State team in the only regular-season meeting.


Walker Miller had three solid games for Monmouth last week but the Hawks went 1–2 for the week to fall to 18–11. They are fourth in the MAAC at 10–8.

Miller had 15 points and seven rebounds in a 71–59 Tuesday home win over Siena, 14 points in Friday’s 70–65 home loss to Saint Peter’s and 16 points in Sunday’s 70–59 loss at Siena.


New Mexico split a pair of games last week. Jeremiah Francis was scoreless with two rebounds, an assist and a block in seven minutes of the Lobos’ 81–56 Tuesday loss at Utah State. He didn’t play in Saturday’s 69–66 home win over Air Force.

How the seven former Tar Heels did

Garrison Brooks, Mississippi State center
66–56 Wednesday loss at South Carolina —
Started; 31 minutes, 2 points, 1–5 FG, 0–1 3FG, 8 rebounds, 1 turnover
74–69 Saturday win vs. Vanderbilt — Started; 34 minutes, 6 points, 2–9 FG, 0–2 3FG, 2–2 FT, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Season statistics — 29 games, 29 starts, 10.8 points, 46.6 FG%, 33.9% 3FG%, 69.6% FT%, 6.9 rebounds; season totals of 26 assists, 24 blocks, 9 steals
Up next — 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Auburn, SEC Network; 8:30 Saturday at Texas A&M, SEC Network
———————————————
Jeremiah Francis, New Mexico guard
81–56 Tuesday loss at Utah State —
7 minutes, 0 points, 0–4 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
69–66 Saturday win vs. Air Force — Didn’t play
Season statistics — 11 games, 1 start, 1.8 points, 36.0% FG, 2–10 3FG; season totals of 10 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
Up next — 10 p.m. Monday at Fresno State, FS1; 11 p.m. Saturday vs. UNLV, FS1
———————————————
Brandon Huffman, Jacksonville State forward/center
81–68 Wednesday win vs. Eastern Kentucky —
Started; 17 minutes, 6 points, 3–3 FG, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
69–52 Saturday win vs. North Alabama — Started; 15 minutes, 5 points, 1–3 FG, 3–5 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 fouls, 1 turnover, 4 blocks, 1 steal
Season statistics —
29 games, 29 starts, 9.0 points, 64.7 FG%, 0–1 3FG, 55.3 FT%, 5.9 rebounds; season totals of 6 assists, 30 blocks and 11 steals
Up next — 6 p.m. Thursday vs. winner of Tuesday’s Eastern Kentucky-Kennesaw State game in an ASUN Tournament quarterfinal; would host semifinal game Saturday vs. Jacksonville, Central Arkansas or Stetson
———————————————
Walker Kessler, Auburn forward/center
77–64 Wednesday win vs. Mississippi —
Started; 29 minutes, 12 points, 5–8 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2–5 FT, 10 rebounds, 4 fouls, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 8 blocks, 1 steal
67–62Saturday loss at Tennessee —
Started; 28 minutes, 8 points, 3–7 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2–3 FT, 5 rebounds, 4 fouls, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 4 blocks, 1 steal
Season statistics —
29 games, 29 starts, 11.8 points, 63.7 FG%, 20.9% 3FG, 62.2 FT%, 8.2 rebounds; season totals of 26 assists, 135 blocks, 30 steals
Up next — 9 p.m. Wednesday at Mississippi State, SEC Network; 1 p.m. Saturday vs. South Carolina, SEC Network
———————————————
Walker Miller, Monmouth forward
71–59 Tuesday win vs. Siena —
Started; 32 minutes, 15 points, 6–12 FG, 0–3 3FG, 3–4 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 block
70–65 Friday loss vs. Saint Peter’s — Started; 35 minutes, 14 points, 7–14 FG, 0–1 3FG, 0–3 FT, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals
70–59 Sunday loss at Siena — Started; 36 minutes, 15 points, 6–11 FG, 1–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal
Season statistics — 29 games, 29 starts, 14.9 points, 47.8 FG%, 28.8 3FG%, 73.0 FT%, 5.9 rebounds; season totals of 33 assists, 27 blocks, 11 steals
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Quinnipiac; 4 p.m. Saturday at Rider
———————————————
Andrew Platek, Siena guard
Out for the season after having surgery to repair a full tear in the Achilles tendon in his left leg
Season statistics — 5 games, 3 starts, 9.0 points, 40.9 FG%, 31.3 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists
———————————————
Seventh Woods, Morgan State guard
85–74 Monday win vs. Norfolk State —
Started; 16 minutes, 8 points, 2–6 FG, 4–4 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover
76–69Saturday win at Delaware State — Started; 26 minutes, 4 points, 2–6 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, 3 fouls, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 block
Season statistics —
17 games, 13 starts, 5.1 points, 44.0 FG%, 21.4 3FG%, 66.7% FT, 2.1 rebounds; season total of 41 assists, 9 steals, 4 blocks
Up next — 8 p.m. Monday vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore; 7:30 Thursday at Coppin State
———————————————

Photo via @JSUGamecocksMBB





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