WBB: Dolphins Hold Their Own Against Florida State on the Road

TALLAHASSE, Fla. – All season, women's basketball head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin has harped on her team playing the JU way – tough, up-tempo, defense-oriented basketball. Despite the final result, the squad held its own and withstood a rugged Florida State team in the 73-46 defeat. 

"We had a lot of stuff we can build on from this game," said McCuin. "The JU way is about being tough and for the most part we did that. It was closer than the score depicted. Florida State is a great team and they gave us one more really tough challenge before we head into conference."

The Dolphins stood firmly alongside the Seminoles, evenly paced through the midpoint of the opening frame. For JU, Florida State's name, conference, and home court advantage were all irrelevant as the Fins held a 7-6 advantage three minutes into the half. 

It would be the Dolphins' final lead but their resilience kept it a two-possession contest until a three-pointer provided the Noles with a nine-point cushion, 25-16, with 9:06 on the clock. Florida State captured its first double-figure lead at the six minute mark and maintained the gap through intermission.

Briona Brown crowned the frame with back-to-back baskets and she and the Fins entered the break trailing, 40-26.

Continuing to show signs of their determination, an 8-0 run pulled the Dolphins within 10 early in the second half. Shaleighya Sulton, who finished the game with a career-high six points, cut the gap to 44-34 with a 2-for-2 trip at the free throw line.

Working an 8-0 run of their own, the Noles stretched their advantage back to 18 at the 12:05 mark and maintained momentum from there.

JU's hot shooting hand fizzled in the second frame as it combined for 6-of-34 (17.6 percent) from the floor. However, a positive sign for the Fins was shown in their defensive performance of holding their counterpart to just 33 points.

Brown directed the Dolphins' scoring effort with 12 points while Sherranda Reddick posted 10. Grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds, Kayla Gordon tied her career-high and also recorded eight points.

Jacksonville, nearing the conclusion of its non-conference schedule, returns to action on New Year's Day. Thomas University (Ga.) visits Swisher Gymnasium on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m.

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