SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Jacksonville University women's basketball team met USC Upstate Saturday night, limiting the Atlantic Sun's top offense to well under its point average en route to a 49-43 victory.
"I believe in my team," said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "We've been making strides. We aren't going to get too high off of this but we are pleased that we came out on the road and grinded out a win.
"I don't think championship teams can only win at home. Our home record is impressive, but you have to win on the road, and we did that despite the fact that this wasn't our best game."
In the decision, Jacksonville snapped a four-game losing streak to the Spartans, and improved to 12-7 and 4-0 in the Atlantic Sun. The Dolphins are currently working a six-game winning spell.
There were six turnovers in the first four minutes and no score until the Spartans drained a three-pointer at the 5:55-mark. The basket stirred both offenses as Brandi Buie scored six straight points for the Dolphins, leading them to a 9-7 edge with 4:04 on the clock.
At the end of the first quarter, Upstate held on to a slight 12-11 edge. The Dolphins remained on their heels through the midway point of the second frame, and tied the game at 17-all on a steal and fastbreak layup by Keanua Williams.
Sherranda Reddick broke the stalemate with a trip to the free throw line, sparking a 6-0 run to give the Dolphins a 23-17 advantage at the half.
Jacksonville shot 25 percent (7-28) from the floor in the first half but were perfect, 7-7, from the line.
The Dolphins' scoring run continued through the third quarter, capped at 12 unanswered points, while their defense held the Spartans without a basket for nearly 10 minutes.
After a four-minute lull of their own, the Dolphins' 12-point edge dwindled to three, 31-28, by the end of the third. Their scoreless stretch ended with an up-and-under layin from Christin Mercer with 8:33 left in the game.
On the next Spartan possession, Mercer's block paved way to Briona Brown's layup.
The game remained close through the final horns, twice the Spartans pulled within two, but it was the Dolphins who ran away in the end.
"This is new for us," McCuin continued. "We are a young team. At halftime, I told them 'Don't you ever stop believing in yourself. You worked hard to be here and we are pretty good.'"
Rescheduled for Tuesday, the Dolphins travel to the New Jersey Institute of Technology for their first-ever meeting with the A-Sun's newest member. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
News & Notes
- USC Upstate entered Saturday's game with a league-best 67.9 points per game; the Dolphins limited it to 43
- The Dolphins outrebounded the Spartans, 45-41
- Jacksonville hadn't recorded a win over Upstate since the 2012-13 season