JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three-point shooting struggles in the second half proved too much to overcome for Jacksonville University (14-10, 2-5 ASUN) on Saturday as the Dolphins fell to Florida Gulf Coast University (17-6, 6-1 ASUN) 78-56. The Dolphins were 2-17 from deep in the second after hitting nine of 18 attempts in the first half, and allowed 15 offensive rebounds to the Eagles.
"We've got to flip our effort and our intangibles on the defensive end in a hurry if we want to move forward," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "Our team has played with pretty good energy most of the year, but tonight it all just kind of went out in the second half so we've got to figure out a way to bounce back."
Jacksonville struggled offensively in the second half, which led to transition offense for FGCU. The Dolphins missed their first seven threes in the period after making nine of 18 in the first half, and during that stretch the Eagles outscored JU 22-11, taking a 58-44 lead with 10:38 remaining. Darius Dawkins ended the three-point drought with 10:18 left, but over the next seven minutes JU made just one of its seven shots and suffered four turnovers as FGCU went on a 14-2 run to take a 72-51 lead with 3:07 left. Despite forcing three turnovers in the final six possessions, Jacksonville fell to FGCU 78-56.
Opening tip bounced to FGCU, but neither team was able to score on their first two possessions as a frantic pace saw four shot attempts in just 45 seconds. The Eagles struck first with a layup following an offensive rebound, and pressed their advantage to a 4-0 lead on a second 2nd chance opportunity. But Darien Fernandez answered with a big three on the other end, putting the Dolphins on the board. The two teams traded baskets, and then a streak of three JU turnovers allowed a 4-0 FGCU run that put the Eagles up four, 11-7, with 14:21 left. Again Jacksonville responded with a three, this time from Cody Helgeland, then took the lead, 13-11, with another three, this one from J.R. Holder.
The Eagles and Dolphins traded the lead a few times, with JU's final lead of the half, 30-28, coming on a Holder three with just over three minutes left in the period. FGCU ended the half with an 8-3 run to take a 36-33 lead into the halftime locker room.
- Marcel White scored his first points since November 12, 2016 on a layup with 15:18 left. The senior had sat out for over two months with a foot injury. He finished with five points.
- Dawkins ended an 0-20 drought from deep with two three-pointers in this game.