JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four – a number that marks the current win streak for Jacksonville University women's basketball; it is also the number of Dolphins who recorded double figures in an 84-49 victory over ASUN Conference foe Kennesaw State Monday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium.
"I was extremely pleased with our aggressiveness," stated Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "Kennesaw State is a young team, but they're very physical and they compete very hard; they have great freshmen. Compliments to their coach and staff. We wanted an opportunity to come out and challenge ourselves to play defense at a high level."
Over 30 percent of Jacksonville's points came at the free throw line, as the Dolphins (13-5, 3-0 ASUN) converted on 26-of-32 chances. Kayla Gordon and Brandi Buie combined for 18 of Jacksonville's 26 points at the line, as the pair finished the day with 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Jasmyn Brown (12 points) and Alexis Burns (13 points) also added double figures for the Dolphins, while Naqaiyyah Teague controlled the boards with a game-high nine rebounds – just one shy of her career high.
Added McCuin, "It is imperative that we make free throws because that's a big part of our game. I'm just excited that our players are focusing on their free throws and sticking together out there."
The Dolphins defensive effort through the first three quarters proved decisive as Kennesaw State was held to 11 points or less in each of those periods.
With a slim 12-10 lead after the first quarter, the Dolphins went on a tear with a pair of 8-0 runs in the second quarter for a 35-21 lead at halftime.
Outscoring the Owls 49-28 in the second half, Jacksonville relied on its bench for 30 of those points as La'Karis Salter drained a pair of three-pointers at 5:33 and 2:11 in the third quarter and Burns, Rolanda Hayes, and Shalonda Neely combined for 15 in the final period. In total, 36 of the Dolphins' 84 points came off the bench.
"It was a collective effort; we want to continue to defend at a high level – that's important for us. We have a lot of depth, so when we have opportunities to give people chances, I definitely want to do that," said McCuin.
Kamiyah Street and Alexis Poole led Kennesaw State with 15 points each, while Poole's eight rebounds led the Owls.
The Dolphins head out on a three-game road swing, beginning at NJIT Saturday, Jan. 20 at 1:00 p.m.