JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s basketball team struggled from the floor and as a result suffered a 59-36 loss to Mercer in the Atlantic Sun quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
Guards Queen Alford and Sherranda Reddick led the Fins with 12 points each while forward Briona Brown contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
Bumped on a made layup Teanna Robinson scored the first points of the game but wasn’t able to complete the and-1 opportunity. Less than a minute later, Reddick erased the slight 2-0 tip with a three-pointer that would end up being JU’s largest and final lead of the evening (17:41).
By the midpoint of the first half the scoreboard read 14-6 in favor of the Bears and Mercer teetered around a 10-point advantage for the remainder of the frame. Alford and Brown twice closed the gap to seven, first at the 6:36 mark and then at 4:11 but the Fins just couldn’t get over the hump.
With 35 seconds left before the break, Reddick crowned the half when she bounced an inbound pass of the back of a Bear defender, collected the ricochet and laid it in. Though the play pumped the 800 at Swisher Gymnasium, the Dolphins entered the break trailing, 30-17.
Mercer slowly padded its lead over the first seven minutes of the second frame. Three consecutive free throws by Briana Williams lifted the Bears to a 41-24 advantage, their largest lead up to that point, with 13:10 remaining and the team then worked on the opposite end of the floor to ensure JU wouldn’t chip away.
Brown knocked in JU’s final field goal of the game, 52-31, with 5:13 left and from then on the team relied on free throws to break ground.
Alicia Williams led four players in double figures for Mercer with 17 points.
JU ended the contest shooting a season-low 23.1 percent (12-of-52) from the field while the Bears hit 22-of-56 (39.3 percent).
The Dolphins wrap the season with a final record of 13-17 while Mercer improves to 17-13 and moves on the A-Sun Championship semifinals to meet Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, March 15.