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UNF Spinnaker

Women's basketball comeback falls short

MACON, Ga – The UNF women’s basketball team erased a 15-point deficit and led by one with 2:30 left in its Atlantic Sun Tournament first-round matchup against Jacksonville University. However, late turnovers and clutch JU free throws ended the Ospreys season and proved to be too much for the Ospreys to overcome as they fell, 52-56.

“Obviously very disappointed, we won the two games in the regular season but they won the one that counted,” said UNF head coach Mary Tappmeyer. “Hats off to JU. They had a great game plan.”

JU junior guard Jessica George made the play of the game with 15 seconds left when she drove by UNF junior guard Brittany Kirkland for a lay up to put the Dolphins up 55-52. Senior guard Juliemay Syquio had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds left but failed to drawn iron, as she air balled the shot.

“It was actually just designed for whoever was open,” Syquio said. “I know I should have been a little more focused.”

UNF got off to about as slow a start as possible. The Ospreys struggled with the Dolphins’ pressure defense. UNF turned the ball over 18 times.

When they weren’t turning it over they struggled to his shots. The Ospreys didn’t score for the first six minutes of the game. Kirkland ended the Osprey drought with a jumper to make the score 2-5 with 14:32 left in the first half. Kirkland led the Ospreys with 12 points. 

They also struggled defensively. Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore center Larkira Jones, was sidelined with two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game. She finished with just four points and six rebounds.

“You neutralize the defensive player of the year real quickly by putting her butt on the bench,” Tappmeyer said.  “It totally changes the game plan.” 

JU was sparked by junior guard Jessica George who hit four shots from behind the arch. George finished with 17 points to lead the Dolphins. 

JU advances to the A-Sun semi-finals where they will meet the first seeded East Tennessee State, March 4, at noon inside the Mercer University Center.

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