Jacksonville University currently has the longest winning streak among men’s teams on the First Coast with three and will test that Wednesday in Alabama-Birmingham.
The Dolphins (3-1) will play the Blazers (5-1) for the first time since 2017, but it will be their 35th meeting. They were both members of the Sun Belt from 1979-91 and JU went 8-21 in those conference games. They have met five times outside of a conference since 1995, and the Blazers are on a seven-game winning streak against the Dolphins.
Former coach of Ole Miss Andy Kennedy is in his first season at UAB and went 22-7 and 27-8 in his first two. The Blazers won the Conference USA tournament last season and lost to Houston in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Already this season UAB defeated Georgia with 87:73.
It will be difficult for the Dolphins: UAB is at home under Kennedy with 34:4. Senior Guard jordan walker, who has also played for Seton Hall and Tulane, leads the Blazers with 24.5 points per game.
Player of the week: North Florida Junior Guards Jarius Hickel scored 41 points in road games against Duquesne and Kentucky, shot 13 of 25 overall and made eight of 16 3-point attempts. He had 24 points in the loss to the Dukes. Hicklen leads UNF in scoring with 15.6 points per game.
Statistics of the week: Junior forward Tyler Collier of Flagler had 10 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and made five of seven shots from the floor in an 86-50 win over Savannah State.
Note UNF (1-4): The Ospreys’ Heartbreaker 83-82 loss at Duquesne gave them back-to-back single-digit road losses to non-conference Division I teams, in which they led at halftime. UNF lost 75-67 in Washington on November 11th. The result against Duquesne was 18 draws, with 23 lead changes.
Note JU (3-1): Senior Guard Kevin Nolan found his form on offense. After making just four of 18 shots overall in his first two games, he made 13 of 26 in the last two games, a 91-61 win over Voorhees (SC) and a 64-43 win over Campbell (NC) . Nolan had 20 points against Campbell, his 22nd time under coach Jordan Mincey that the Dolphins have kept a team under 60 points. JU is 21-1 in these games.
Reference to Edward Waters (1-2): The Tigers nearly made a comeback for the ages in an 88-85 loss to Central State in Wilburforce, Ohio. EWU was 32 points behind, 67-35 with 15:01 left but a sophomore guard Tavares Oliver led a rally by scoring 11 of his playing 32 points during a 33-8 run. The Tigers eventually narrowed to 86-85 with 26 seconds left when Oliver scored a 3-pointer, but that was the last breath. Senior Guard Felix Hayes added 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Reference to Trinity Baptist (2-5): The Eagles led by straight points against Thomas (Ga.) University but had 20 turnovers for the game and shot .345 in the second half in a 73-57 loss. junior guard Zach Kiadii, a graduate of Westside High, had 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Note Flaglers (4-3): The Saints hit a blistering .617 in the second half of their win over Savannah State, with six players in double figures and Collier and the second forward Kyle Young (11 points, 11 rebounds) with double-doubles. Flagler beat Savannah 48-22 in the paint and shot .702 from within 3-point arc.
The schedule for this week
Edward Waters, Kentucky, 7:30 p.m
Trinity Baptist in North Florida, 7 p.m
Jacksonville in Alabama-Birmingham, 7:30 p.m
Flagler in the state of Savannah, 6 p.m
Florida Gateway College at Trinity Baptist, 7 p.m
North Florida at High Point (NC), 2 p.m
Miles (Ala.) at Edward Waters, 3 p.m
Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville, 4 p.m
Flagler at Rollins, 7 p.m
Player of the week: JU Sophomore Guard/Forward Khala Hayes scored a career-high 28 points and made 13 of 14 from the floor in the Dolphins’ 73-55 win over Warner, then added 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 75-62 win over Bethune-Cookman. Hayes tied the third-highest single-game point total in program history against Warner and had the second-highest field goals in a game. She made .758 of her shots in the two games (22 of 29).
Statistics of the week: Sophomore Guard Sara Pedraza of Flagler had 23 points, six rebounds, four assists and made 11 of 12 free throws in a 73-59 loss to Florida Tech.
Note UNF (1-4): transfer Lyric Swann has hit double digits in the Ospreys’ first five games, tying the school’s Division I record for most consecutive games in double digits to start a season. She leads the Ospreys at 16.8 per game after scoring 20 in a 79-56 loss to St. Joseph on Sunday. St. Joe’s made .524 of their 3-point attempts and six players had at least one 3-point attempt.
Note JU (4-2): As usual, the Dolphins show a balanced offensive in the first six games. Ssenior forwardShynia Jackson leads the team with 13.8 points per game, senior guard De Shari Graham is at 13.2, senior guard Seraphine Bastin is 11.8 and Hayes is 11.7. JU’s victory over Bethune-Cookman on Sunday was the fifth in their last seven encounters with the Wildcats.
Reference to Edward Waters (4-2): Central State (Ohio) beat the Tigers 17-11 in the fourth quarter and won 82-74. Tatum Hayes had 20 points to lead EMU five nights after she had 31 points in a 73-66 win over Clinton (SC). Hayes, a transfer from Bethune-Cookman, scored 13 of 24 3-pointers in the two games.
Reference to Trinity Baptist (3-3): The Eagles didn’t have a game last week. Five of their next seven games are at home.
Note Flaglers (1-6): The Saints had the busiest schedule of the week with three games, all losing by an average margin of 14 points. Senior guard N’Mya Pierce had 14 points and 14 rebounds in a 74-57 loss to Sioux Falls (SD) at the Bahama House Invitational in Daytona Beach.
This week’s games
Edward Waters, Kentucky, 5:30 p.m
Florida State College Jacksonville at Trinity Baptist, 7 p.m
Emory & Henry at Flagler, 3 p.m
North Florida in Bethune-Cookman, 5:30 p.m
North Florida in Miami, 2 p.m
Contact Garry Smits at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @GSmitter.