Hot Start for JAX Not Enough in Hard-Fought Loss at FGCU

Hot Start for JAX Not Enough in Hard-Fought Loss at FGCU


– The Jacksonville University men's basketball team (10-14, 3-6 ASUN) came out of the gates hot on Saturday night but FGCU (9-15, 4-5 ASUN) weathered the storm and held off the Dolphins down the stretch, 73-60.

JD Notae led all scorers with 22 points on 7-17 shooting from the floor including a 5-12 clip from long range. Those five triples matched a season and career-high for the Georgia native. He also came up with three rebounds, two assists and five steals, which also matched a career-high. Joining Notae in double figures with Tyreese Davis who contributed 18 points and eight boards to go with three helpers. No other Dolphin managed more than five points.

The Dolphins shot 35.9 percent from the floor in the game while the home side got hot and fired up a 55.3 percent clip, including a 58.3 percent mark in the first half.

Jacksonville wasted no time jumping all over the Eagles in this one, Notae slashed through the lane on the fast break and finished to get the scoring started before Davis got loose with a pair of triples. Bell capped the hot start with a thunderous slam to put the Dolphins up 10-0 before the fans were finished settling into their seats.

FGCU responded with six straight, but JU followed that with a 6-0 run of its own to get the lead back to 10. From there however, things started to unravel as the Eagles came up with a 19-0 run to take a 25-16 lead with 6:28 to play in the half. Jacksonville kept pace, never allowing the deficit to grow beyond seven. Notae canned a triple with 1:28 left but FGCU answered in the final minute to make it a seven-point game at the break, 32-25.

JU surrendered a layup on the first possession of the second half, but Notae immediately answered with a high-arching corner triple and back-and-forth we went. Santos knocked in a deep three with 17:43 left to cut the lead to three but FGCU immediately responded with a 5-0 run to get it back to seven. Davis and Notae did their best to keep this thing a two-possession ball game as they went shot-for-shot with the home-standing Eagles for much of the second half.

Seven points became the barrier for the Dolphins who trailed by as many as 11 with 5:58 to play. Jacksonville cut it to a seven-point game four times over that final six minute stretch but a 7-1 run to close the game doomed the Dolphins to a 73-60 defeat.

Up next for Jacksonville will be a return to Historic Swisher Gymnasium where it will welcome Kennesaw State for a 7 p.m. tip. The Dolphins dispatched the Owls on the road earlier this season, 90-70, in a game that JD Notae secured the first triple-double of his career.