ARLINGTON, Texas – The NCAA adopted a few new rules before the start of the 2015-16 women's basketball season and one of them came into major play in the final seconds of Friday's contest between Jacksonville and the University of Texas-Arlington.
With five seconds remaining in regulation, both sides called a timeout to advance the ball and were rewarded with game-changing shots. The Dolphins' timeout led to critical free throws while UTA's sealed its victory at 56-54 with a buzzer beater.
In July, the NCAA approved a rule that allows teams to advance the ball to the frontcourt with a timeout called after a made basket, rebound or change of possession in the final 59.9 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Down by two with 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation, the Dolphins tested the rule by calling a timeout after the Lady Mavs committed a turnover with a shot clock violation. Jacksonville shaved nearly four seconds off the clock after inbounding the ball, and in its attempt to tie the contest, Sherranda Reddick was fouled in the act of shooting.
She converted both of her free throws and left .5 seconds on the clock. Following the makes, UTA called a timeout to advance the ball. LaShanda Green lobbed the ball to her 6-3 teammate Toma Zaleckaite and she scored on a layin at the sounding of the horns.
Reddick paced all scorers with 26 points while Briona Brown added 10.
Quality shots weren't available at the start of the contest. Jacksonville forced the Lady Mavs to commit a turnover on the opening possession and the sides went on to combine for 12 shots by the midpoint of the first quarter. Only Loliya Briggs' step-back three pointer fell.
The Dolphins held a 7-2 advantage with 4:18 on the clock, and the lead changed twice but a Reddick trey cemented JU's 14-13 edge at the conclusion of the frame.
Defensive efforts allowed Jacksonville to pad its lead in the second. It held UTA scoreless for the first five minutes while Reddick again worked the opposite end of the floor. She scored seven points in the stanza including a statement trey after UTA pulled within two, 20-18, with 2:56 remaining.
At the half, Jacksonville directed UTA, 25-19.
A three-minute 9-0 Maverick run shifted the game's momentum in the third. Tied at 30-all, JU relied on the three-ball to regain a brief advantage but concluded the frame down by one, 39-38.
The contest tied thrice more before Reddick's final free throws and Jacksonville was unable to gain an edge after each of the stalemates.
The Dolphins wrap the Preseason WNIT tomorrow against Dartmouth. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.