JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In 40 minutes of action, the Jacksonville University women’s basketball team never trailed East Tennessee State en route to a 73-56 victory on Thursday afternoon. Snapping a two-game losing streak, the Dolphins improve to 9-10 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic Sun. Freshman guard Sherranda Reddick led three other double-digit scorers with 14 points.
“This was our opportunity to show how we would respond to a bit of adversity,” said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. “We lost two on the road and really wanted to come back and have a solid game. We were able to get some kinks out that hopefully will prepare us for another tough opponent [USC Upstate] on Saturday.”
Sophomore forward Briona Brown recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals while senior forward Jade Cargill posted 11 points and nine boards. Closing the pack was sophomore guard Queen Alford who added 10 points and four steals.
Brianna McQueen led ETSU in scoring with 12 points and Serena Clark posted the sole double-double of the night with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Reddick went to the line to knock in the first points of the
game at 18:51 and the Fins rolled ahead from there. Tied at 4-all, JU’s stifling
defense suffocated the Bucs on offense and forced three turnovers over the three minute span. The extra possessions allowed
the Fins to go on a 9-0 run and capture a 13-4 advantage with 14:59 remaining.
For a while, JU’s scoring withered and the Bucs used the spell to pull within four, 17-13, near the halfway point of the frame. On the following touch, junior guard April Carson rattled in a trey and senior guard Ronisha Mitchell followed with one of her own to push JU back up to a 10-point lead, 23-13. The Dolphins hovered around that margin for nearly six minutes. With JU posting a 32-22 lead at 3:40, the Bucs closed the gap to five on a 7-2 run which included four points from McQueen and a three pointer from Shamauria Bridges (34-29).
The teams traded baskets from then on but the Fins entered the locker room with a 37-32 lead. JU shot 51.7 percent (15-for-29) from the field in the period with 20 of their 34 points occurring in the paint.
ETSU used a pair of free throws in the early goings of the second frame to trail by three and this was as close as they would get as Brown regained JU’s double-digit lead, 44-34, on a long two with 17:18 remaining. Knotted at 47 points for a little over three minutes, the Dolphins were unable to finish on a few fast breaks and the Bucs used that time to draw within six, 47-41, at 12:59.
Working off the screen to hit a layup, Edwards lifted the Fins to a 15-point buffer, 58-43, with 7:35 left in the game. Neither team scored over the next two minutes and they used the last five minutes to trade baskets. JU outscored the Bucs 15-13 over the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Receiving quality minutes from the bench, JU’s reserves outscored ETSU’s, 26-12.
“They only had eight players and we wanted to try to wear them down,” continued McCuin. “The best way to do that was to get some of our people some minutes. We’ve been talking to our players a lot about being ready for their opportunity. One of our goals is to outscore our opponents bench and we did that tonight.”
Returning to Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday, Feb. 1, Jacksonville faces USC Upstate at 1 p.m.