The University of North Florida Arena was action packed on Saturday night. The UNF crowd witnessed a dominating Jacksonville Giants win. The Giants routed the Nassau Pride,122-91, for their tenth straight win of the season. Jacksonville improves to 10-1 on the season as they get closer to the ABA tournament this upcoming spring.
The game was the Giants annual Teachers Appreciation Night, local educators throughout Northeast Florida had free admission to the game. It was an amazing way for the Giants to show their appreciation to educators around the First Coast.
On the court, the Giants did not disappoint. Jacksonville started fast and furious. The team jumped out to a commanding 68-35 halftime lead. Fans at UNF witnessed some competitive basketball athleticism. Elijah “Superman” Smith got things going early on with a powerful slam dunk, creating a strong fan atmosphere. Maurice Mickens, Bernard Nugent, and Miguel Paul landed long range three pointers to go along with Smiths strong inside play.
Nugent led the team with 18 points on the night. Miguel Paul (17 points), Larry Dumas (15 points), and Micken’s (12 points) all rounded out the scoring leaders for Jacksonville. The Giants used a balanced attack offensively, getting everyone involved in the game plan. The versatility made things difficult for Nassau as the Pride could not focus on one or two specific players.
Defensively, the Giants were the most physical of the season. Jacksonville held Nassau to 91 points, which is an impressive accolade. The ABA is well known for faster tempo offense. The Giants keeping Nassau under 100 points is a huge testament to the physical defensive scheme from Coach Jerrod Tuckers team. Coach Tucker and Giants teams pride themselves on physical defense.
Jacksonville started the game with a full court press and multiple double teams in the contest. The physical play forced multiple Nassau turnovers. The double teams forced poor Nassau shot attempts as well. Nugent was all over the floor, forcing steals and missed baskets.