Dolphins Rout North Florida, 73-39, for First Conference Victory

Kimberly Dawkins (photo by Skip Tapp - www.widespreadphotography.com/judolphins)
Kimberly Dawkins (photo by Skip Tapp - www.widespreadphotography.com/judolphins)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the quest for an Atlantic Sun championship, the Jacksonville University women's basketball team is off to a great start, opening conference play Saturday with a 73-39 victory at North Florida.

For the second straight game, Christin Mercer led the Dolphins in scoring with 17 points and added seven rebounds. Briona Brown recorded 16 points and nine rebounds while Sherranda Reddick had 12 points with five steals.

"I am extremely proud of our young ladies" said Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "We won because of our defensive effort.

"Defense is who we are. The more we own that, the better off we will be, and we'll never be in situations where opponents are scoring 21 points on us [in a quarter]… We amped up our defense in the second quarter and didn't look back."

Jacksonville dominated in every statistical category. The team outscored its crosstown rival in the paint (40-12), off turnovers (23-11), second chance (15-9), fast break (6-0) and off the bench (30-9). The Dolphins also finished with 15 steals and outrebounded the Ospreys, 46-26.

North Florida's efficiency from beyond the arc allowed it to take a 21-11 advantage at the conclusion of the first quarter. The Ospreys shot 4-for-7 from the three-point line to start the game but were limited to eight points in the next two quarters.  

Using seven steals and 11 UNF turnovers, the Dolphins combated a 10-point deficit with a 21-4 run to enter halftime up, 32-25. UNF scored two baskets in the first five minutes of the second and were held scoreless the remainder of the quarter.

In the River City Rumble's all-time series, Jacksonville improved to 15-8 and are on a six-game winning streak.

Next, Jacksonville hosts Lipscomb Saturday at 1 p.m.