Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big Impact from JU Guard Notae; by Garry Smits

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big Impact from JU Guard Notae; by Garry Smits

Article excerpt


When JD Notae took the basketball from the referee at the foul line with a half-second left in the game and Jacksonville down by one point to Stetson on Monday night, the freshman guard couldn't help but flash back to the only other time in his life he was in the same situation - having to make two free throws to win the game.

It was the last time he was a freshman, at Newton High School in Covington, Ga., in 2014. Notae missed his two attempts from the line in a tie game with no time on the clock and Newton lost in overtime.

This time, Notae had been fouled by Stetson's Luke Doyle on a 3-point attempt and had three shots to make two.

"I've been here before," Notae said he told himself. "Now it's time to redeem myself."

Taking two bounces before launching each shot, the ball went through pure on his first two attempts to give JU the lead. Notae then missed the third on purpose to keep the Hatters from in-bounding the ball and getting a shot off from midcourt, and a last-ditch, full-court heave fell well short.

Consider Notae redeemed, and it was another exciting A-Sun victory for the Dolphins (12-13, 6-2), who have won five of their six conference games by seven points or less.

"With this team, we know it's going to be a fight every night," said Dolphins coach Tony Jasick. "Every possession is important."

JU has taken sole possession of second place in the A-Sun entering Saturday's home game against conference leader Florida Gulf Coast (17-8, 8-0). The Dolphins' 68-62 loss at FCGU last week was the closest margin of victory for the Eagles this season.

Jacksonville also has been doing it with newcomers such as Notae, who is second on the team in scoring (16.2 points per game), first in steals (1.9), first in 3-point percentage (.405, among players with at least 25 attempts), second in minutes (32. …

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