I totally didn't see this thread until just now.
You know what, as odd as it might seem, I like J7 GOURD for 12. It's only 1 less point than your play, but you don't have a hideous combination of 2 Us on your rack. Sure, it doesn't block both Q spots should your opponent have the Q, but the only Q play your opponent has is 11 points. Under most circumstances he will score more than that with any of the other letters available in the pool. ETU as a leave keeps 2 vowels, which is very necessary given the pool at this point. Unlike Quackle's suggestion of URGED, GOURD leaves you the longshot chance of drawing something like REQUESTS through the E. You don't necessarily need a bingo to win, but you at least leave yourself the option here.
Was your opp a human opponent? PAINED, given the pool, seems like a very poor choice here...
Jesse Matthews - 26 - Vaquero