JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jalyn Hinton scored a career-best 18 points and snagged seven rebounds for Jacksonville University (4-9) during a 24-8 run in the closing minutes of the game, but it wasn't quite enough for the Dolphins, who fell to Northern Arizona (3-10) on Wednesday, 83-72.
"I thought our guys played with pretty good effort down the stretch," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "It gave them a chance to make it a game late. The first ten minutes of the game we were 7-15 with five assists and one turnover, and the next ten minutes we had seven turnovers and no assists. We've got to play the game to our strengths the entire time. When we go away from what makes us successful, we give up runs. We're not equipped offensively to manufacture points when we give up runs."
Northern Arizona opened the second half with a 12-4 run, making four of its first five attempts. Hinton snapped that run with a demonstrative dunk on a feed by JD Notae, and then nailed two free throws on the next possession. The two teams traded punches for the next few minutes, with Jacksonville cutting the margin down to 18, 54-36 with 12:17 left, and Northern Arizona growing the lead to as much as 23, 59-36, with 10:41 remaining.
A herculean effort by Hinton and the rest of the Dolphins swung momentum back in Jacksonville's favor late in the game. JU forced NAU into four turnovers and five missed shots over the next seven minutes, and cut the margin down to just nine points, 79-70, with just 1:31 left in the game. Northern Arizona stretched the lead back to 11 on a transition dunk, but the Dolphins again cut the lead to nine on a driving layup by Notae with one minute on the clock. Jacksonville forced a turnover on the next Lumberjack possession, but couldn't capitalize on two three-point attempts. The final from Jacksonville: Northern Arizona 83, Jacksonville 72
Runs were the theme of the first half, with Northern Arizona opening with a 10-0 run that Jacksonville responded to with a 9-0 run, fueled by three consecutive three-pointers by Tanner Rubio. With 15:37 left in the half, JU had pulled within one, 10-9.
Jacksonville used another run, this time 10-5, to take a 19-15 lead with 11:37 left. That spurt was largely on the effort of Cody Helgeland, who hit a three-pointer, a driving layup, and one of two free throws.
The Lumberjacks used a 15-0 run over the next eight minutes, and closed out the half 20-4. At the end of the first, Northern Arizona led 35-21.