Baptist Health Post-Game Press Conference - Head Coach Tony Jasick
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a game that saw 15 lead changes and five ties in the score, the Jacksonville University men's basketball team (9-4) persevered in the second half to take down a pesky Florida Memorial team (5-4), 81-63, Monday evening at Historic Swisher Gymnasium.
The Dolphins were 8-of-8 at the free throw line in the final 2:45 of the game, and that made all the difference as Jacksonville fought off the Lions' persistent defense and outscored the visitors 49-27 in the second half.
Freshman Tanner Rubio used back-to-back three pointers early in the first half to knot the game at 20-20 and set a new career-best with 13 points, eclipsing his previous game-high of nine points.
Devin Harris led the Dolphins with 16 points and nine assists, while teammate Demontrez Austin took advantage of phenomenal assists and finished 7-of-9 from the floor, including five dunks, to total 16 points and seven boards.
Florida Memorial pushed the pace of the game early on and forced the Dolphins to break their press in the final four minutes of the first half, a move that helped the Lions take a 36-32 advantage into the locker room.
JU came out with a press of its own to start the second half and used a five-point rally to take back the lead, 37-36, and the Dolphins' persistent defense kept the Lions scoreless through the first 5:05 of the second half.
Florida Memorial used an 8-3 run to lead 47-42, but a pair of made free throws and a layup from Devin Harris, followed by two points from the charity stripe from Fernandez gave the Dolphins a 48-47 advantage with 11:21 to play.
A 14-3 rally, highlighted by 6-of-8 shooting at the free-throw line, gave JU its largest lead of the game, 62-50, with 6:56 to go. The Lions countered with a six-point rally of their own to cut their deficit to six, but the Dolphins came back with a 7-3 run to give JU a 10-point lead, 69-59, with 3:23 to go.
A 12-4 Jacksonville run closed out the game and solidified the Dolphins' ninth overall victory and their third consecutive win.
The Dolphins travel to Davidson on Wednesday, December 21 for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.
- Jacksonville improved to 6-0 when holding opponents under 70 points, and 7-1 when scoring at least 70 points.
- Cody Helgeland had just his second career miss from the free throw line. The redshirt junior from Toccoa, Ga., is 27-29 from the penalty stripe this season.
- Jacksonville improved to 9-4 this season, tops in the ASUN and its best start since the 2010-11 season. Last season JU didn't earn its ninth win until January 14 against Kennesaw State.