JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite an evenly-matched second half, Jacksonville University's men's basketball team fell to crosstown rival North Florida, 80-64, in both team's ASUN Conference opener and part one of the season's River City Rumble Saturday evening at Historic Swisher Gymnasium. The event was a sellout, just the second in the history of the facility.
The Dolphins trailed by 15 at halftime, but evened the second-half point differential to 36-35. Tanner Rubio finished the contest with a game-high 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc to lead three other double-figure scorers.
In the decision, Jacksonville dropped to 12-6 overall (0-1 ASUN) while North Florida improved to 6-12 and 1-0 in the league.
Yet another huge block from J.R. Holder early in the first half set the stage as both teams opened the game with stingy man-to-man defense. Holder currently leads the team with 0.6 blocks per game.
An early surge gave the Ospreys a 12-2 lead and kept the pressure on the Dolphin defense.
Expecting the Dolphins' usually-intense offensive play, North Florida took every advantage it could and led by 10 twice more before Jacksonville mounted a comeback.
Down 22-12 with 7:43 remaining in the first half, the Dolphins used a 12-5 run behind three long three-point shots from Rubio to keep the crowd on its feet and cut Jacksonville's deficit to three, 27-24, with 4:23 to go before halftime.
However, the Ospreys used to a 17-5 run to close out the first half ahead, 44-29.
"I think for us, I'm just really disappointed with the overall effort and intensity we played with today," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "That's not who we've been and it's not who we're going to be. It's unfortunate that we came out and didn't play really well offensively or defensively."
The Dolphins head north Thursday, January 12 when they visit NJIT for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.