JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In its final regular season game of the year, Jacksonville University women's basketball kept rolling to its sixth consecutive win – and to a sweep – over River City rival North Florida, 64-43, Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gym.
The win marks the sixth-straight for the Dolphins (22-7, 12-2 ASUN Conference) swept the Ospreys (12-17, 5-9 ASUN) in the River City Rumble series.
The game had an emotional undertone to it, with a special ceremony following the game to honor Dolphin seniors Brandi Buie, Kayla Gordon, and Naqaiyyah Teague.
"Obviously it was an emotional day; these young ladies have done so much for us. Just full of emotion, pride, and excitement to see what's next for them. I'm glad that we had a good turnout to come and support them, glad we got the win, glad our players came to play, and we did it our way defensively," stated head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin.
It was indeed the trio of seniors that led Jacksonville in its regular season finale as Buie posted a team-high 15 points, Gordon led all players with 13 rebounds, and Teague added eight points and five boards.
Added McCuin, "They set the tone from the jump, the way they started the game. Their energy was superb and they handled it very mature."
The Dolphins outpaced their crosstown rivals in each of the four quarters, including a massive 20-12 advantage in the fourth to put the game away.
With 2:53 before halftime, UNF received a pair of three-pointers from Rhetta Moore to close the gap to seven, 23-16.
Junior Lindsay John hit a jumper with five seconds remaining in the half, and aided the Dolphins' defensive efforts to get the visitors to turn the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play as time seemingly expired. After a review from the officials, 0.3 seconds was restored to the clock and the Dolphins sent in The Big Ticket – redshirt-junior La'Karis Salter – to knock down a last-second shot.
After a perfect inbounding pass from junior Lindsay John, Salter banked in a deep three at the buzzer. With an ecstatic crowd buzzing at the sight of the basket, both players and spectators alike were disappointed to see the official signal that the shot wouldn't count as it was released just barely after time expired, and the Dolphins carried a 27-18 lead into the intermission.
Jacksonville then used a 9-2 run and pushed its lead to as many as 25, 64-39, with 1:50 left to play and later close out the game with the final 64-43 advantage.
John finished the day with four assists and a pair of steals, while Salter chipped in a rebound, a block, and a steal. Junior Jasmyn Brown added 14 points, dished three assists and grabbed three steals.
Keonna Farmer led the Ospreys with a game-high 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Jacksonville earned the #2 seed in the ASUN Tournament and will play host to #7 Kennesaw State next Friday, March 2.
"It's a chance and an opportunity for us to put everything together that we've been working on, get better every game, and take it one game at a time. I think we're ready, we're going to get some rest and focus on each opponent as they come," added McCuin.
Tipoff time for next Friday's matchup has not yet been determined and will be announced later this week.
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