ITTA BENA, Miss. - Christian Williams shattered his career high in scoring to lead the Jackson State men's basketball team to a 90-71 victory over in-state rival Mississippi Valley State Saturday night at the Harrison HPER Complex. With the win JSU improves to an 8-16, 7-8 record. With the loss Valley falls to 4-22, 4-12.
Williams scored 44 points and became the first player since Trey Johnson, who scored 49 points against UTEP during the 2006-07 season, to crack the 40 point mark under head coach Tevester Anderson. His previous career high was 31 points. Williams had an efficient shooting night going 13-16 from the field, 7-8 from three-point range and 11-11 from the free throw line. He also dished out three assists and had three steals.
Williams had 29 points (10-11 shooting from the field and 3-3 from the line) in 16 minutes of action in the first half.
Kelsey Howard also had an efficient night for JSU; he scored 14 points on 5-10 shooting from the field. Jeff Stubbs came off the bench to add 12 points on 6-12 shooting from the floor.
Matt Smith led Valley with 16 points on 7-14 shooting and Davon Usher followed with a 15 point effort and Darryl Marshall finished with 10 points.
JSU held a 46-38 halftime advantage. The Tigers shot 72.7% from the field (16-22) in the first half. JSU connected at an 87.5% rate from both the free throw line and three-point range (7-8). MVSU shot 52% from the field (13-25), 50% in threes (4-8) and 80% from the line (8-10).
The Tigers cooled off in the second half, shooting 46.2% from the field (12-26), 25% in threes (1-4) and 79.2% from the line (19-24). Valley connected at a 41.9% from the floor (13-31), 28.6% from three-point range (2-7) and 55.6% from the line (5-9).
By the 11:46 mark in the second half JSU built its lead to 66-52 and increased it to 89-61 with 5:17 left in the game.
Jackson State returns to action Monday when the Tigers travel to Pine Bluff, Ark. to face the UAPB Golden Lions. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.