Sports

Jones, Foxes remain unbeaten; improve to 10-0

Bahamian female professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones notched a double-double on Wednesday night as she propelled her Russian team, the UMMC Ekaterinburg Foxes, to a 99-42 home victory over seventh place Nika Syktyvkar (4-6). They improved to a league best 10-0 on the season, remaining undefeated. The Russian Women’s Premier Basketball League regular season game was played at Verkhnyaya Pyshma, in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The Bahamian finished the game with game highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds. Her performance sealed the league’s player of the week honor for her. It was a good start to the new calendar year for the Foxes.

Jones, who celebrated her 27th birthday on Tuesday, finished the game shooting 7-for-12 from the field. She connected on her only attempt from beyond the arc. The Grand Bahama native was also perfect from the foul line, going 5-for-5. She also dished out three assists in the victory.

Defensively, Jones came up big as she had three blocks and one steal in 25 minutes of efficient play.

Jones started the scoring off for her team as she scored a layup 18 seconds into the game to put them up 2-0. That sparked a 17-4 scoring run by the Foxes over the first five minutes of the game. Nika had a tough time getting on the scoreboard as Jones and the Foxes’ defense was too dominant. The quarter ended 28-12 as Jones and the Foxes sat comfortably in the driver’s seat.

It was a tough shooting night for the visitors overall as they were held to just 23.5 percent from the field. They finished the game shooting 16-for-68. The Foxes was able to shoot 45.6 percent from the field as they shot 36-for-79. There missed just two free shots in the game, going 20-for-22.

The second quarter was a better one for Nika as they were able to slow down the home team a little and play better offensively. Unfortunately for them, they dug themselves too deep of a hole in the first quarter. The Foxes still led, 51-28, at the half.

In the second half, the Foxes shifted gears as they dominated their opponents, outscoring them 48-16 that included a 23-5 third quarter rout.

Arseniia Mateeva led the way for Nika. The forward scored nine points and finished with four rebounds in the loss.

The Foxes forced 15 turnovers and had 10 turnovers of their own. On the boards, the Foxes dominated as they pulled down 61 rebounds compared to Nika’s 34 rebounds.

On the season, Jones is averaging 19.8 points, good enough for second most in the league. Her teammate Mariya Vadeeva leads the league at 20.8 points per game. The Connecticut Sun center in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is ranked fourth in the league with 10 rebounds per contest.

Next up for the Foxes is another home game as they clash with the ninth-ranked Dynamo Moscow (1-9) on Sunday January 10. Tip-off is at noon local time, 10 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) here in The Bahamas.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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