JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville women's basketball (9-8, 2-2) took on the North Alabama Lions (12-2, 3-1) at Swisher Gymnasium Tuesday night in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. Five times the lead was traded before the Dolphins found themselves on the wrong end of a 62-59 final score, snapping a streak of three consecutive home wins.
Jacksonville started the game off hot, hitting five of their first seven shots to grab a lead by the first media timeout. Though the Dolphins led most the quarter, the Lions made a push to knot things up at 14 apiece before moving on to the second.
Points proved harder to come by in the second, with Jacksonville going just 3-of-11 in the 10 minute period. North Alabama grabbed the lead early in the quarter and held onto it until halftime. Jacksonville did, however, hold the Lions to 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, and never let the deficit grow beyond five. When the teams went into the locker rooms it was North Alabama on top 26-22.
The third quarter was the best from a scoring standpoint for Jacksonville. The team went 8-of-15 with a pair of threes. It was freshman Johné Stewart's triple that came with five minutes remaining in the quarter that gave the Dolphins a lead for the first time in the second half. They outscored the Lions 21-16, and carried a 43-42 lead into the final 10 minutes.
North Alabama managed to tie the game at 47-all near the eight minute mark in the fourth quarter. Then, Jacksonville went on a 10-0 scoring run spanning nearly five and a half minutes that put them up by 10 with just 1:17 remaining in the contest. Though Jacksonville appeared to own all of the momentum, the Lions refused to give in, and came back with a run of their own. Up three with just 36 seconds remaining, the Dolphins made a costly mistake in fouling on a made North Alabama three-pointer. The four-point play left Jacksonville down by one, and they were unable to recover.
Next, Jacksonville travels north to face NJIT (5-11, 2-1) in Newark, N.J. Jacksonville defeated the Highlanders twice last season, and hold a 6-0 all-time record against them. The game is scheduled for 1 PM on Saturday, Jan. 19.