JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s basketball team had a big second half but weren’t able to slow down Atlantic Sun co-leader Stetson on Saturday afternoon as they fell by a score of 85-63.
In their first collegiate starts, freshmen Deja McPhee and Jenny Vernet played exceptionally well and tallied career highs. McPhee finished with a career-high mark in both rebounds and assists with seven and five on the night while Vernet went 4-of-7 from the field to notch a career-high eight points. Guards Queen Alford and Sherranda Reddick each added 15 points in the contest.
Alford also finished with five steals and four assists while Reddick contributed seven rebounds and two steals.
“I was pleased with our energy tonight,” said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. “We didn’t seem to play with any against [Florida] Gulf Coast. In order for us to win, we have to get defensive stops and we weren’t able to do so which allowed Stetson to get their average points. Moving forward, I’m expecting us to play with the same energy we had tonight. The next four games are crucial as we try to clinch a top-four spot in the Atlantic Sun tournament.”
Stetson’s defense held the Dolphins to just seven field goals in the first 20 minutes as the Hatters led 42-22 at the break. The Hatters then went on to score the first seven points of the second half and led by as many as 31 before JU’s pressure defense forced some turnovers to record transition baskets.
Though JU was unable to pull within single-digits, they showed flashes of grit as they regrouped to perform better than the night before. The Dolphins knocked in more shots than the Hatters in the latter frame (16 to 12) but sent Stetson to the line 21 times.
Next Thursday, Feb. 27, JU hits the road for its final two road games of the season. The squad’s first stop will be East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. before traveling to USC-Upstate on Saturday, March 1 for a 2 p.m. tip.