Jacksonville Rides Impressive First Half to Win over Lipscomb

The Jacksonville Dolphins shot a season high 65.5 percent in the first half and held Lipscomb to 31.3 percent as they rolled to a 87-69 win on Saturday. The win propelled the Dolphins to their first 3-0 start in Atlantic Sun Conference play in 10 years.

“I thought we did a really good job of being locked in on what we were trying to do,” Jacksonville head coach Tony Jasick said.

One of the things they were trying to do was limit Bisons’ junior guard Garrison Matthews. Matthews came into the game averaging over 23 points per contest, but was held to only 3 points in the first half. It was a part of the scouting report that Jasick said he emphasized going into the game.

“We felt like we had to give Garrison Matthews all kinds of attention,” Jasick said. “I thought our guys did a really good job of limiting his effectiveness for most of the game.”

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins’ backcourt of senior guard Devin Harris and freshman guard J.D. Notae scored 19 and 21 points respectively; with both scoring 11 in the first half. Notae was especially impressive as he scored at all three levels.

“I’m very comfortable,” Notae said. “I seem like I fit in real well with my team so I feel like I just go out there and play the game.”

In the first half, the Dolphins used their hot shooting in conjunction with great defense in a performance Bisons just couldn’t match.

In addition to holding Lipscomb to poor shooting, Jacksonville also forced 11 turnovers. The only issue Jacksonville had in the first half is shooting 5-14 from the free-throw line.

However, even that didn’t stop the Dolphins from carrying a 20-point lead into halftime at 47-27.

The second half started in a similar fashion as Jacksonville was able to grab a 59-35 lead. The Bisons would then go on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 17 at the under-12 timeout at 59-42.

The Dolphins stopped the bleeding and stretched the lead back out to 20 at the under-4 timeout at 74-54.

Then the Bisons started playing pressure defense and forced the Dolphins into several turnovers and even cutting the lead down to 10 at one point. The Dolphins were able to regain their composure and eventually pulled away with the 18-point win.

Matthews was able to get some buckets in garbage time and finished with 23.

The game marked the third time this season Jacksonville shot over 60 percent in a half this season and it was their largest margin of victory over Lipscomb ever.

The Dolphins return to the court on Thursday when they travel to USC Upstate while Lipscomb plays host to Florida Gulf Coast the same evening.

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