WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Jacksonville University's women's basketball team faced Wake Forest Monday where the evenly-matched offenses battled for 40 minutes before the home team claimed a 57-51 decision.
Christin Mercer added eight points, four steals and three rebounds in 21 minutes.
Defensive efforts kept things tight in the first half as neither side was able to gain separation by more than three points. In fact, the opening 20 minutes had six ties and five lead changes.
Jacksonville had plenty of opportunities to lengthen its 25-24 halftime advantage but left 10 points at the free throw line as the Dolphins went 8-for-18 at the charity stripe.
Trading runs in the third quarter allowed the Demon Deacons to take a 40-34 advantage into the final stanza. Wake Forest came out of the break with a 5-2 run and later pieced together an 11-2 clip that stretched through the first two minutes of the fourth frame.
Reddick's second three-pointer of the game ignited a 5-0 Dolphin run to tie at 32-all with 4:23 to play in the third. The stalemate was the final of the afternoon though Jacksonville remained within an arm's length until the final horns.
Wake Forest led by as much as nine but Jacksonville continued to battle back, twice pulling to within four in the final four minutes.
The Demon Deacons outrebounded JU, 47-39, while Jacksonville's pressure led to 16 steals.
"In order to win road games we have to make layups and free throws," said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "We missed 13 free throws.
"I can't say that I'm not disappointed. It's nothing against Wake Forest but we had opportunities to win. The good news is it's not March. We're just going to get back to Jacksonville, watch some film and prepare for Murray State on Thursday."
Jacksonville returns to Swisher Gymnasium Thursday for its annual Literacy Day game. The Dolphins host Murray State at 11 a.m. and invite all Duval County schools to cheer them on. Admission will be free for students and faculty members, and the first 50 students will receive a free t-shirt.