Whether it is in Veterans Memorial Arena, Swisher Gymnasium, or UNF Arena, Jacksonville holds the upper hand in the River City Rumble versus intra-city rival North Florida. A change of location and relevance did not matter either as the Dolphins defeated the Ospreys in the quarterfinals of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Championship at the University Center in Macon, Ga.
JU now owns an 11-1 advantage in the all-time series, but they know that the win over UNF was a huge first step in achieving their 2010 goals.
UNF has made huge strides in its first season as a full member of Division I. The Ospreys won 13 games which is the most since they joined the A-Sun and fell just two wins shy of matching the school record for wins. So, first-year head coach Matthew Driscoll seems to have them headed in the right direction.
However, none of that mattered on Wednesday. The Dolphins used a smothering defensive effort to limit a team that is built to win on defense themselves. UNF worked itself back into the game once in the first half and late in the game, but JU’s experience showed as the team hit 13-of-16 free throws in the final two minutes.
Head Coach Cliff Warren has led JU to back-to-back tournament finals, but is still looking for that break-through win to vault the program back to the NCAA Tournament. Maybe a win over their next door neighbor will be the catalyst that starts the charge.