SAVANNAH, Ga. - Jacksonville women's basketball (2-2) collected their second win of the season tonight, defeating the Savannah State Tigers 68-58 in Savannah, Ga. Though they held a sturdy lead through much of the game, the Dolphins had to work to put the Tigers away in the fourth quarter of their third consecutive road game this season.
It took the Dolphins several minutes to settle in during the first quarter, turning the ball over six times and allowing the Tigers to jump out to an early 6-1 lead. It wasn't until three minutes remained in the quarter that Jasmyn Brown ignited the offense with her first triple of the game. Jacksonville ended the opening period on an 11-4 run and leading the Tigers by two.
The second quarter was all Jacksonville, as they outscored the Tigers 22-10 thanks to Brown's sharp shooting. The senior knocked down three more from beyond the arc, while the Dolphins as a whole shot 50 percent. Jacksonville's defensive play remained stout also, blocking five shots and holding the Tigers to just 25 percent from the floor. The 'Phins also collected eight points from the charity stripe in the first half. When the teams entered the locker rooms Jacksonville held a 34-20 lead.
The Tigers fought back in the second half as they continued to create turnovers and refused to let the score get away from them. Savannah State's leading scorer Myasia Jones began hitting her attempts from deep, and the Tigers got as close as eight points in the third period.
The fourth quarter saw Jacksonville lead by as much as 17, and as little as six as the two teams went back and forth during the final 10 minutes. At one point, the Dolphins found themselves on the wrong end of a 9-0 run in the fourth, and the game got as close as 62-56 with two minutes yet to play. Jacksonville executed the final two minutes perfectly, however, and a deep two from Lindsay John with under a minute left would be the dagger as it extended their lead to 10.
"We had opportunities to finish them off and close the game out. We have to make sure we take care of those opportunities. Making layups, making free throws, those are the things that close games out," said Head Coach Darnell Haney.
Jasmyn Brown led all scorers in the game with 20 points, 16 of which came from beyond the arc. She also hauled in seven rebounds, while recording a block, a steal, and two assists. Shalonda Neely scored 14 with eight rebounds, and Kiara Meeks hit double figures as well with 10. Sophomore Alexis Pierce, who was playing in front of a hometown crowd, also dealt damage in this one, dishing out three assists while adding six points of her own.
"I was proud of us defensively today. I felt like we did a solid job. The Jones kid kinda got off at the end of the game, and she's a pretty good player. Savannah played hard, and they came after it. But we were able to withstanding their runs, and move forward," Haney said.
"None of this group outside of Jasmyn Brown has been in the crunch time late game together, so it's really good that they got that opportunity to be able to get those jitters out, feel what it's like, and go out and be ready to close out games the rest of the season."
Next, Jacksonville travels to Charleston, S.C. to compete in the Charleston Southern Thanksgiving Invitational. On Saturday, Nov. 24 the Dolphins take on the Old Dominion Monarchs. Then on Sunday, the 'Phins will face the hosting CSU Buccaneers. Both games are scheduled to begin at 4 PM.