JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University women's basketball has never lost a contest to North Florida while under the direction of head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. The Dolphins now maintain a 7-0 mark against their intercity rival, dating back to the 2013-14 season, and the streak continued Saturday in a 68-58 decision at Historic Swisher Gymnasium.
Part one of the River City Rumble also doubled as the ASUN Conference opener for both squads.
Kayla Gordon earned her fourth double-double of the season on 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Christin Mercer led both teams with 18 points.
Though it wasn't reflected in the early score, the Dolphins were the clear aggressor from the opening tip. The home team held a slight 7-6 edge at the first media timeout – missed free throws and layups left points on the floor – before closing the quarter on a 7-2 run.
Tesh Hanson hit a jumper with 8:49 on the clock to start the second period, and the Ospreys were in search of a score for the next six minutes thereafter.
On the opposite end of the floor, the Dolphins padded their advantage to 18 points. They posted a 33-17 lead at halftime, while limiting North Florida to a 3-for-11 clip from the floor.
On the back of a 10-2 run late in the fourth quarter, North Florida crept within single-digits, 54-45, for the first time since the opening frame. Sherranda Reddick swished a corner three on the next Dolphin possession (3:41) and Sierra Shepard responded with one of her own.
With 2:44 remaining, Reddick knocked down a pair of free throws to lift JU back up to double-digits for good.
"I'm just disappointed overall," said McPhee-McCuin. "We did not have pride in our defense and we were not able to make easy baskets. We have a lot of work to do. We just have to play JU basketball."
Jacksonville hasn't dropped a contest at home this season and improved to 8-0. Overall, the team maintains a 12-4 record, 1-0 in the ASUN, while UNF fell to 7-9 and 0-1.
The Dolphins will hit the road for their next two ASUN outings, taking on USC Upstate Saturday at 4:30 p.m. before a Monday tilt at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.