Dolphins Set Sights on Second ASUN Title, NCAA Berth

WBB raise hands in team huddle

GAME NOTES: JACKSONVILLE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the second time in three years, Jacksonville University women's basketball will meet Florida Gulf Coast University in the ASUN Conference Tournament Championship, this Sunday, March 11 at FGCU's Alico Arena. Opening tip is set for 3 p.m.

The winner will earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, with ESPN airing the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field as part of its Selection Monday Special Show on Monday, March 12 from 7-8 pm ET.

JU's Last Outing
It's only fitting that making history has been the impromptu theme all season long for Jacksonville University women's basketball. The #2 Dolphins set a new single-season program record with its 24th win en route to an 83-77 decision in overtime over #6 North Florida, Wednesday evening at Swisher Gym. The Dolphins make their second appearance in three years in the ASUN Tournament final.

To some, an upset looked on the horizon as the Ospreys led by as many as 10, 68-58, with 3:59 left in regulation. However, those who understand McCuin's "No Ceilings" philosophy, less than four minutes was plenty of time to stage a comeback. A dramatic ending followed, as Jacksonville allowed just four points from North Florida en route to a 14-4 rally highlighted by senior Brandi Buie's game-tying free throws with 14 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime tied at 72.

The Dolphins left no doubt in extra time, despite the Ospreys coming within two, 76-74, with 1:48 to go. Buie's four points thereafter served as the catalyst to put the game away, beginning with a layup with 0:59 remaining.

With the visitors coming down the floor, Buie swatted the ball away from an Osprey guard and was fouled. She then drained both free throws to give the Dolphins a six-point lead with 23 seconds on the clock. At the end of the overtime, Jacksonville doubled up the Ospreys 11-5 and finished 7-of-10 at the free throw line to put the game away, 83-77.

Conference Honors
Kayla Gordon
 was named ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, while she and Jasmyn Brown earned a spot on the All-ASUN First and Second Teams, respectively, at the league's virtual banquet last Thursday afternoon.

Gordon leads the ASUN with 9.7 rebounds per game and 292 total rebounds, and ranks second in the league shooting 52.3 percent from the floor (138-264). She is also averaging 12.2 points per game, 1.4 steals per game, and 0.8 blocks per game.

Named to the All-ASUN Second Team, Brown ranks in the top five in the league in several categories, including third in free throw percentage (76.6) and fifth in both three-point field goals made (57) and points per game (13.7). The Haines City, Fla. native is also averaging 3.8 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, and 1.4 steals per game.

250 and Counting …
Jacksonville once again made history this season as its 73-53 victory over NJIT on Feb. 19 at Swisher Gym marked the 250th all-time win in the program's 18-year history. To put it into perspective, 91 of those 250 wins have occurred in the five-year tenure that head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin has led the Dolphins.

1,000-Point Club
Senior captains Brandi Buie and Kayla Gordon etched their names in Dolphin program history after the pair both scored their 1,000th career point Jan. 13 against Lipscomb. Buie and Gordon join just eight other Dolphins to reach the 1K milestone.

The last time Jacksonville welcomed two players to the 1K club in a single season was in the 2015-16 campaign (Briona Brown & Sherranda Reddick).

Brown currently ranks fourth all-time in points and is the older sister of captain Jasmyn Brown. Reddick graduated a year ago, and is the Dolphins' all-time leading scorer.

Double Down

Senior captain Kayla Gordon has 31 career double-doubles to her credit, and earned her first of the 2017-18 season at Nicholls State with 13 rebounds and 11 points.

2014-15 | 5 DD
2015-16 | 7 DD
2016-17 | 8 DD
2017-18 | 11 DD

1,000 & 1,000
You could say Kayla Gordon is having a great year. On March 2, Gordon became the only Dolphin in program history to reach both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. Her 10 rebounds pushed her over the 1,000-career rebound threshold to continue her historic season.

Earlier in the year, Gordon became Jacksonville's all-time leading rebounder as her 14 boards at Lipscomb on Feb. 12 lifted her over former Dolphin Kat Sungy (956) with 961 rebounds.

Ten Non-Conference Wins
After setting the program record for single-season non-conference victories last year, the Dolphins have once again crossed the double-digit win threshold prior to the start of league play. Continuing the trend, four of Jacksonville's victories came against first-time opponents in Iona (Nov. 13), Monmouth (Nov. 24), Webber International (Nov. 25), and Flagler (Dec. 10).

Last season's Dolphins rewrote the program's record books with 11 non-conference victories, and tied the single-season win record – first set in 2007-08 – with an overall record of 23-9.

No Ceilings Podcast
Check out this week's#NoCeilings Podcast as Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin discusses the dramatic come-from-behind win over North Florida in the ASUN Semifinal Wednesday night, the significance of the win over the Ospreys, what Sunday's opportunity means for the program and more. 

Scouting the Opposition – Florida Gulf Coast
Receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, FGCU boasts a 29-4 record heading into Sunday's title game.

Scoring Leader | All-ASUN First Team honoree Rosemarie Julian (13.3 PPG) … Fellow First Team All-ASUN member China Dow (11.6 PPG) and Taylor Gradinjan (10.4 PPG) are both averaging double figures
Rebounding Leader | All-ASUN Second Team honoree Tytionna Adderly (9.2 RPG) … Dow is second on the team with 5.7 RPG

Series History with the Eagles
FGCU holds a 22-3 lead in the all-time series, while Jacksonville is 1-2 in the postseason against the Eagles, and 1-13 all-time at Alico Arena.

The Dolphins won the only meeting between the teams in the ASUN Tournament final – a 56-54 decision in 2016 that propelled the Dolphins to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Jacksonville is 1-2 in the postseason against the Eagles, and 1-13 all-time at Alico Arena.

Next Up
The winner will earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, with ESPN airing the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field as part of its Selection Monday Special Show on Monday, March 12 from 7-8 pm ET.