Jacksonville Sports Day

JU: Men’s Basketball Opens Mincy Era with Home Victory

JACKSONVILLE – The Jordan Mincy era got off to a rocking start on Tuesday night, as Jacksonville University men’s basketball downed Trinity Baptist 79-43 in front of a raucous crowd at Swisher Gymnasium.

The Dolphins (1-0) were led by a balanced attack that featured four double-figure scorers and a stifling defense that limited the Eagles to just 15 first half points.

“I think our guys understand what our identity is,” Mincy said. “Being able to understand roles, which are still developing, but at the same time, I think we really settled in to our identity and who we’re supposed to be.”

Both teams showed early season jitters and gradually traded buckets over the first nearly six minutes. A three-pointer by the Eagles cut the JU lead to 10-8 with 14:14 to play in the first half and after Jordan Davis assisted on an Osayi Osifo dunk, Trinity Baptist made two free throws to again trim the deficit to two, 12-10.

From there, the defensive identity that had been preached throughout the preseason was made apparent, as JU put the clamps down while also gradually finding its own footing offensively.

Bryce Workman had a pair of buckets and had an assist and two offensive rebounds as part of an 8-0 run to push the lead to ten, 20-10, with 10:43 remaining in the half.

After a nearly three-and-a-half-minute stretch in which neither team scored, George Pridgett entered the game for the first time in his collegiate career and immediately dished a perfect pass for a Mike Marsh layup. He had a three and a free throw for four points as part of a run that made it 30-10 JU with 2:56 left in the first.

Trinity Baptist hit a jumper with 1:51 remaining in the half that broke a stretch of 11:03 where the Dolphins held the Eagles scoreless and outscored them 18-0 to seize control of the game.

After leading at halftime 37-15, Trinity Baptist found some rhythm from deep to keep the lead from growing early in the second half. Eventually, the Dolphin offense kicked into gear, with the two Davis’ combining for all the points on an 8-0 to make it 51-25 with 14:10 left in the second.

The Dolphins grew the lead again when Workman and Osifo went a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe, Isaiah Broady had a steal and a dunk and Osifo and Tommy Bruner both scored nifty baskets to fuel a 10-0 run to push the advantage to 34 points, 66-32. A Pridgett steal-turned-alley-oop to Rod Brown capped the night offensively and showcased the desire of the staff for the defense to propel the offense.

JU hosts North Carolina A&T on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Swisher Gym. Former standout guard and JU Hall of Famer Ben Smith is getting his number retired at halftime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *