JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women's basketball team (9-4) used lockdown defense and a little senior magic to post its fifth consecutive win in a 61-49 decision over Northern Kentucky (1-9) Tuesday afternoon.
The two-day appearance in the UNF Holiday Classic saw Jacksonville defeat Edward Waters and NKU to improve to 4-0 all-time in the tournament.
Kayla Gordon posted her fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds. Naqaiyyah Teague recorded 10 points and seven rebounds and Brandi Buie rounded out the senior double-digit contingency with 11 points.
The Norse jumped out to an early three-point advantage at the start of the game, and quickly became the trailers after a 7-0 Dolphin run. Buie scored five of the 'Phins' seven points during the stretch with a three-pointer and trip to the charity stripe.
Known for their defensive measures, the Dolphins pushed NKU to the limits of its shot clock, forcing either a last second attempt or a turnover. Jacksonville held a 16-13 edge at the end of the first quarter, and kept the Norse without a score until the 5:58 mark of the second.
NKU went 2-for-10 from the field in the second quarter and entered halftime down, 28-18.
The Dolphins continued to pressure in the third to end the frame with a 9-2 run. It marked back-to-back quarters where NKU was held to single-digits as it scored five points in the second and nine in the third.
Both teams were in the bonus with 2:08 remaining in a 53-44 game. And while the Norse tabbed a pair of 5-0 runs in the latter part of the quarter, the 'Phins closed things at the line. The closest point difference was captured at 56-49 with 38 seconds left.
"We continued to battle despite adversity," said head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "Today, free-throws [15-for-26] were the adversity, but we still played through it. At the end of the day, that's something we can fix with a few reps in the gym. We'll enjoy this break and come back refreshed."
With a few days to relax and spend time with their families, the Dolphins will enjoy winter break before visiting Florida State Thursday, Dec. 28, for a 7 p.m. contest.