THIBODAUX, La. – The Jacksonville University women's basketball program will return to the First Coast Saturday evening with its first road win of the season. Backed by three players scoring in double-figures, including a career-high 20 points by Shakayla Nevitt, the Dolphins (2-2) defeated Nicholls State (2-1), by a score of 69-61.
"We have to learn how to be ahead, and that's something we will work on," said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "This is our first road win, and I'm just proud that we found a way to get it. We're getting exposed in some areas, but we will continue to work on them. We have to figure out ways to put together a win until we find out who we really want to be as a team.
"Lindsay [John] stepped up with the absence of Brandi [Buie, who sat out a few minutes of the third quarter after a hard foul]. We were excited for the challenge as it allowed others to get an opportunity to step up. Kayla Gordon had a great game. She was just physical on both ends of the floor, and Shakayla [Nevitt] definitely came around and did some positive things on the offense."
Gordon finished the game with her first double-double on the season on 11 points and 13 rebounds, while Jasmyn Brown added 14 points.
Nicholls scored first, but Jacksonville worked the rim on so many of its first quarter possessions that by the end of the period it held a 21-9 advantage. Nevitt swished the Dolphins' first field goal of the day with a midrange jumper, and became the first player to score in double-figures with five minutes to go before halftime.
Shooting 5-for-8 from the floor with a pair of three pointers, she helped pad Jacksonville's edge to 37-22 at the half.
Jacksonville led by as many as 23 at the 5:43-mark of the third quarter, but things became interesting at the start of the fourth when the score marked just a 10-plus difference. The Colonels opened the final frame in the midst a 10-4 run, scoring four points on Jacksonville turnovers, before time out discrepancies stalled the game for nearly five minutes.
Lindsay John forced a turnover on Nicholls' first possession out of the break and it lead to a Jasmyn Brown three-pointer on the other end. Unfortunately, the Colonels continued to pressure, and turnovers allowed them to pull within six, 59-53, with 4:54 left.
Cassidy Barrios banked a three-pointer for the score, and both teams scrapped for points through the final horn. The Dolphins pushed their advantage to 12 with 3:19 on the clock, and 10 of the game's final 12 points were recorded at the line.
Jacksonville returns to Historic Swisher Gymnasium Friday, when it plays host to North Florida, Monmouth and Webber International in the two-day Fairfield Inn Thanksgiving Tournament.