JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville women's basketball (11-8, 4-2 ASUN) found themselves in a back and forth shootout with crosstown rival North Florida (7-10, 2-4 ASUN) Tuesday night at UNF Arena. After 15 lead changes, it was the Dolphins putting their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter to come away with an 80-72 victory in the River City Rumble game.
Both teams let the three-ball fly early and often in the first quarter, combining for six made on 12 total attempts. It was the Ospreys making 4-of-7 to go up 16-14 before heading to the second. For the 'Phins, Jasmyn Brown grabbed nine of their 14 first quarter points after sinking 4-of-5 attempts, including one from beyond the arc.
The trend continued in the second with 15 total attempts from deep. Though the Ospreys had more luck with the long ball than JU, the Dolphins kept pace behind a 6-of-11 half by Brown. Jacksonville did manage to go on a 5-0 run with just under three minutes remaining in the half to take the lead, but UNF came right back with a run of their own to end the quarter and enter halftime with a 37-33 lead.
The Ospreys put together a scoring run in the early stages of the third to go up by nine, the largest lead they'd hold all night. However, the third quarter ultimately proved to favor Jacksonville. The Dolphins hit three from deep and outscored UNF for the first time in the game. The 'Phins shot 50 percent and gave themselves an opportunity to take the lead in the fourth, trailing by just two.
Right off the bat in the final quarter Brown hit a big triple to give her team the lead once more. It was the first of five the team would sink in the fourth. The lead was traded three different times, but an 11-2 scoring run in the final stages put Jacksonville in position to start killing clock. A five point deficit with 59 seconds remaining was as close as UNF would come, but a pair of free throws and one final fast break layup for Brown was all Jacksonville needed to collect their 13th consecutive victory over the Ospreys.
Brown led all players with 25 points and eight rebounds, while also providing five assists. 15 of Brown's points came from 3-point range. Brown was followed by fellow senior Trudy Walker, who notched 16 points and eight rebounds. Rolanda Hayes provided seven assists while also scoring 16. Mariah Batz scored 13 points with two steals. Batz, Brown, and Hayes combined for a season-high 12 made 3-pointers. As a group, the Dolphins shot 49.2 percent.
"I knew we were going to have to shoot the ball, and we were going to have to shoot threes, because that's what they were giving us. They play zone. That's what they do, and those were the shots that we were going to get," said Head Coach Darnell Haney. "We've had a lot of adversity, so we had to go through that adversity and get through it. I'm proud of these young women. They did a great job."
Next, Jacksonville plays the second of two matchups with the Liberty Flames, who they defeated 64-52 back on Jan. 12. The game will be played Saturday, Jan. 26 at Swisher Gymnasium and will be broadcast on ESPN+. Tipoff is set for 2 PM.