JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University's potential was evident Thursday when JD Notae led the Dolphins' offensive effort with 24 points and Jalyn Hinton dominated defensively with 12 rebounds and three blocks. But it wasn't quite enough for JU; the Dolphins (3-5) fell to Bethune-Cookman (4-3) 77-66 in Swisher Gym.
"We've got a lot of work to do," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "It was evident from the get-go that Bethune-Cookman was more interested in competing today than our group, which was unfortunate because we had a good weekend and some good energy around our program the last week or so. That was not reflective of our effort today."
Jasick's full post-game press conference, brought to you by Bonos Bar-B-Q, can be found below:
"As a team we didn't have the intensity we wanted tonight, but we're going to bring it next time," said Hinton.
full post-game press conference, brought to you by Bonos Bar-B-Q, can be found below:
While the first half belonged to Hinton (seven rebounds, three blocks), Notae took ownership of the second. The freshman from Covington, Ga., was told by his teammate Devin Harris to "wake up" at the start of the half, and Notae got the message. He scored 18 points in the second half, helping Jacksonville cut a 14-point deficit, 40-26, with 18 minutes left in the game down to just one point, 54-53, with 6:31 left in the game. During that 27-14 run Notae had nine points on 3-3 shooting beyond the arc and an assist, finding Radwan Bakkali open about 18 feet out that capped the Jacksonville run. Jace Hogan also contributed mightily during that stretch, earning his third career double-double. The junior transfer from the U.S. Naval Academy finished the night with 17 points, a career-best 12 rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal.
But again Bethune-Cookman was able to respond to the Jacksonville run with a run of its own. The Wildcats sandwiched two three-pointers around two free throws to go on a 10-1 run, and led 64-54 with 4:55 left. Jacksonville cut into the lead again with contributions from Hogan and Notae, but the Wildcats were able to hold the Dolphins off long enough to escape Swisher Gym with a win. The final from Swisher: Bethune-Cookman 77, Jacksonville 66.
Jacksonville struggled early, turning the ball over three times in its first five possessions. Reigning ASUN Player of the Week Devin Harris had to sit down less than three minutes into the game after earning two quick fouls. With 15 minutes remaining the Wildcats led 13-7, but that's when Hinton went to work. The freshman seemed to hover over the driving Bethune-Cookman guard as he swatted the shot attempt into the next zip code. That inspired a 12-5 run by the Dolphins, giving Jacksonville its first lead of the night, 19-18, with 7:29 left in the half. That lead stretched to two off a made free throw by Tanner Rubio with 7:02 remaining. Bethune-Cookman would match Jacksonville's run with a dominant stretch of its own, outscoring JU 16-6 over the final seven minutes. At the end of half, Bethune-Cookman held a 34-26 advantage.