JU Opens Men's Basketball Season with Loss

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A hot shooting Hofstra team spoiled the debut of the Tony Jasick era on Friday as the Pride handed Jacksonville University a 94-61 loss in the season opener for both teams.  

The Dolphins will now have a quick turnaround as they return home to host Florida National University inside Historic Swisher Gymnasium on Sunday at 2:00 pm.

"Our biggest concerns coming into tonight were rebounding and taking care of the ball against their pressure," said Jasick who made his debut as the 16th coach in program history after taking over the reins in April. "When you look at the results with the 36 points off turnovers and second chance points, our fears came to light at the end of the day."

Jacksonville had just 11 turnovers compared to eight for Hofstra, but the Pride was opportunistic holding a 21-5 edge. In addition Hofstra hit eight three-pointers in the first half on the way to building a 53-32 lead at the break. The Pride's offensive output continued after halftime as they shot 55.2 percent for the game.

"I don't allow negativity in the locker room," said Jasick. "After the game we just talked about what our keys to the game were and how that translated throughout the game. They did not match tonight and when you don't do what you need to do with those details this is what happens. We not going to put our heads down. Tomorrow is a big day as we prepare for our home opener on Sunday in Swisher Gymnasium."

Junior Kori Babineaux led the Dolphins with 13 points on 5-11 shooting. Sophomore J.R. Holder added nine points and a team high six rebounds as 12 different players saw action for Jacksonville.

"In order to have some success you have to have a group of guys that clearly separate themselves. You want guys that you can count on every possession when they are in the game," Jasick said of the rotation. "We are likely the most inexperienced team in America. This was the first time a lot of these guys have been put into an environment such as this. Hofstra is a really good team picked at the top of their league. We did not handle them or the environment very well tonight which wasn't a complete shock with our inexperience."

Now that the first game and first road game is out the of the way, the Dolphins can use it as a cornerstone to build upon.

"What we need to do going forward is get a better core of guys to separate themselves so we can find out who we can count on," added Jasick. "Over the course of the next few weeks of practices and games we will get there. That fact that we finally got a road trip under our belt is a positive. When you have an entirely new team like we have it's good to get a lot of those firsts out of the way."

The young Dolphins still have room for growth and the lessons learned from tonight's game are expected to be seen down the road.

"The positives we can take from today won't be seen for 3-4 days or a few games down the road," said Jasick. "Hopefully we have learned the value of preparation and playing the game the right way. Taking some of the details that were a negative today we can focus on those things and sure up some of those areas."

For ticket information contact the JU Ticket office at 904-256-7863.

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