KENNESAW, Ga. - When leading at halftime the Jacksonville University women's basketball team has not lost. This season, the Fins are a perfect 4-0 and the streak continued at Kennesaw State on Saturday afternoon where the Dolphins earned a 78-64 victory. The success improves JU to 7-13 overall and 2-5 in the Atlantic Sun.
"After the Upstate game, I gave them a challenge – a decision to make," said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "We were either going to bounce back as a team or still feel sorry for ourselves. We made the choice to come out tonight, play as a team and defend."
For the first time this season, the Dolphins also had five finish in double-digits with forwards Kimberly Dawkins and Kayla Gordon earning double-doubles. Both finished with 12 rebounds while Gordon posted a team-high 18 points and Dawkins recorded 10. Dawkins' point total set a new career high and Gordon tied hers.
"They [Gordon and Dawkins] just make each other better every day in practice," continued McCuin. "They fight for rebounds and they are aggressive. I think you need to have that inside presence along with guard play. They gave our guards confidence because they held their own inside and anytime you can have balanced scoring, you're going to be successful."
Things started off a bit rocky for the Dolphins. Down 8-1 early on, Jacksonville recovered with a 9-2 spurt to tie the contest at 10-10 (14:22). Following KSU's seven-point edge, the half was evenly matched and evenly paced, captured by six ties and three lead changes. The final stalemate occurred at 21-21 with 6:31 on the clock and after the Owls held a 24-21 advantage, the Dolphins rode the wave of a 14-1 run to close the frame.
At the break, JU lead 35-25. As a team, the Fins shot 46.2 percent from the field (12-for-26) while limiting KSU to 32.1 percent (9-for-28).
On the Owls' first possession of the second frame, Dawkins recorded a steal and found Buie for the coast-to-coast layup. JU led by double-figures until KSU's Aareon Smith hit a three-pointer with 8:36 left. The Owls would creep to within seven, 57-64, before Brown pushed the Fins out of the red with a jumper to stretch JU's lead back to 10. Her midrange shot was the third point of an eventual 11-0 run and the Dolphins cruised from there.
Jacksonville returns to the First Coast on Saturday, Feb. 7 where it will take on North Florida on the road.