Basketball Comes to an End as JU is Ousted in the First Round

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Photo By: George Wahl

Turnovers plagued the Dolphins early and often as JU fell to USC Upstate 76-62 in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament. JU (14-17, 9-9 A-Sun) turned the ball over 16 times resulting in 26 points for the Spartans (15-16, 9-9 A-Sun).
“The turnovers we’re very uncharacteristic of our team and it hurt us,” JU head coach Cliff Warren said. “They were able to speed us up and they capitalized on our mistakes. It was hard to get in a flow out there.”
JU won the opening tip but turned the ball over trying to feed Glenn Powell down low as he stepped out of bounds.
The Dolphins fell behind almost immediately, down 21-9 just over five minutes in. Torrey Craig, the 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year, propelled the Spartans into the second round where they will face No. 1 seed Mercer. Craig finished the game with 17 points, leading Upstate.
“Five guys were in double figures for us,” USC Upstate head coach Eddie Payne said. “When we pass the ball around effectively, we’re a hard team to beat.”
Up 10 at the half, the Spartans opened up the second with a 12-6 run, extending their lead to 51-36. Upstate continued to pull away in the second half, distancing themselves from the Dolphins by as many as 25 points.
In his last game sporting a Dolphins uniform, senior Glenn Powell scored 13 points and picked up 6 boards. 2013 A-Sun all-freshmen team member Jarvis Haywood led the Dolphins with 16 points.
The Dolphins were 41.1 percent from the floor on the night going 23 of 56. Upstate used a hot-shooting first half to build up a lead that they never let go of. They shot 52.6 percent for the game.
JU made a run at it late in the ball game but it proved too little, too late. They dug themselves in too big of a hole and could never really get back into the game.
“We came out playing with a lot of energy,” Torrey Craig said. “We knew what we had to do to get a win and we did that.”

JU Drops Final Two Games Leading Into Tournament Play

Gearing up for their Atlantic Sun tournament appearances, the men’s basketball teams hit the road to close out their regular season.
The men’s squad headed to Lipscomb to try and end the season on a high-note.
Despite a career-high 26 points from Jarvis Haywood, the Dolphins fell to the Bisons 77-73 in Allen Arena.
“[Haywood] did a good job of attacking the basket especially in transition,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren.
Down 11, the Dolphins went on a 15-3 run erasing the deficit, turning the game around.
Lipscomb however continued to grab hold of the lead and keep fighting ahead for the victory.
Next, the Dolphins made the trip to Northern Kentucky to take on the Norse.
Up by 13 with two and a half minutes to play, it looked as if the Dolphins would end the regular season with a victory.
With little warning, the Norse took control of the game and went on an unprecedented run, battling back for a 66-62 victory.
The game held no implications for the conference tournament with NKU ineligible due to conference reclassification and the Dolphins locked into the four seed.
The Dolphins tip off at 8:30 p.m. this Thursday in Macon, Ga. against USC Upstate in the first round of the tournament.

Dolphins sweep UNF, Lock Up Trip to A-Sun Tournament

Photo Courtesy of Jacksonville University

This past Friday, the Jacksonville University men’s basketball team took on the cross town-rival University of North Florida Ospreys in the second match-up of the 2012-2013 season.
The Dolphins (13-14, 8-6) went on to defeat UNF (10-17, 5-9) 70-68 and in doing so, locked up a spot in this year’s Atlantic Sun conference tournament. This is the sixth time in the last seven years that the Ospreys have been swept by JU.
JU was led by freshman guard Jarvis Haywood and fellow guard Keith McDougald. Haywood led the team in points with 19 and rebounds with nine. McDougald added 16 points and six rebounds of his own.
Trailing 32-30 after the first half of play, the Dolphins led by freshman forward Kordario Fleming came out hot in the second with seven straight points by Fleming giving JU the lead. With just over a minute to play, Fleming drove along the baseline scoring the last of his 10 points and giving the Dolphins a 69-68 lead.
The Dolphin defense took over from there forcing UNF into bad shots and collecting rebounds thanks to senior forward Glenn Powell.
The next trip down the floor for the Dolphins saw McDougald get fouled off an inbound pass with six seconds left on the shot clock, putting him on the foul line for two shots. McDougald’s first shot rattled out, leaving UNF with some hope. Keith drained the second shot putting JU up 70-68.
The Ospreys had one last opportunity to try and tie the game or go for the win. The Dolphins defense again stood strong forcing up a prayer of a shot from UNF’s Parker Smith that hit the back of the rim and bounced harmlessly to the floor.
JU remains at home for their final two games of the season. They play Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3:15 p.m. both games are set to be played at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Dolphins Lose Both on Roadtrip, Prepare for UNF

The Jacksonville University men’s basketball team hit the road for a two-game swing against Mercer and Kennesaw State.
The Dolphins (12-14, 7-6) opened the road trip in Macon. Ga., to take on the Mercer Bears (15-9, 8-3) at Hawkins Arena.
After a long, hard-fought game that saw the Dolphins come back from a double-digit deficit and forced overtime, JU fell on a late three-pointer 67-64.

Following the loss, the Dolphins fell into a three-way tie for third place in the Atlantic Sun Conference with Stetson and USC Upstate.
Freshman guard Jarvis Haywood led the Dolphins with 13 points and junior forward Javon Dawson continued his good play, adding 12 points to go along with nine rebounds and three assists. Six of Dawson’s 12 points came in the overtime period, as he scored the Dolphins’ only points of the extra time.

JU shot a dismal 1-9 in the overtime period. Dawson, who made the lone basket, was 4-4 from the free-throw line keeping the Dolphins in the game until the end. With under 30 seconds to go, JU looked to Dawson to tie the game as they were down by three, following a Travis Smith three pointer for Mercer.

Freshman forward Kordario Fleming tied his career-high in rebounds with 11 as he tallied his third double-double of the year. He added 10 points along with three blocks and two assists.

Following the heartbreaking loss, the Dolphins got back on the bus and traveled north to take on Kennesaw State (3-21, 2-10).

Following a good first half, JU let Kennesaw St. back into the game and eventually fell to the Owls, 75-68.

Coming off his one-game absence, junior guard Keith McDougald led the Dolphins as he does so often, with 15 points in the game. Junior forward Dylan Fritsch added 14 points of his own as both he and McDougald connected on four 3-pointers in the game.

After going into halftime with a 38-33 lead, JU came out slow as Kennesaw St. scored the first five points of the second half, tying the game at 38. The next stretch of the game saw the Dolphins and the Owls tied up six separate times and seven different lead changes.

“We shot the ball well from the outside pretty good early on, but I think we started relying on that a little too much and we stopped playing defense the way we need to play,” Head Coach Cliff Warren said. “Then in the second half we missed three or four lay-ups which didn’t enable us to get back on defense and allowed them to get some offensive rebounds.”

With just about five minutes left to play, Fritsch hit one of his four 3-pointers giving JU a 59-57 lead. Kennesaw’s Markeith Cummings, who finished with 18 points, scored the next seven points of the game as the Owls went on a 9-0 run taking a 66-59 lead.

Senior forward Glenn Powell gave the Dolphins another solid performance with 12 points and a team high of seven rebounds.
Next up for the Dolphins is a home match up with crosstown rival University of North Florida (10-16, 5-8). The game is set to tip off 7 p.m. on Friday at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Women’s Basketball Shows Improvement on the Road

The Lady Dolphin’s basketball team (7-17, 3-10) fought hard in both games this weekend with hopes of breaking their losing streak. While they showed great improvement in shaking their first half struggles, they were still bested by both Kennesaw State and Mercer.

The Dolphins started their two game road trip in Kennesaw, Ga., to take on the Owls. The Dolphins started the first half with no trace of their prior first half blues, leading Kennesaw State for most of play. Freshman guard Queen Alford scored seven points at the start of the game, giving JU a 13-10 advantage. Sophomore guard Britney Holiday followed with two 3-point buckets and senior forward Tracie Sneed sealed off the run with a layup to give JU a 21-10 lead.

The Owls responded with an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to two points. Kennesaw guard Ashley Holliday scored a layup to bring the game to 26 all, and after some scoreless possessions, JU’s Holliday beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to give JU the lead at the half.

The Dolphins and the Owls fought hard through the second half and the game came down to the final minutes. Sneed made a layup in the final two minutes to make the score 55-51, but Kennesaw held JU to a scoreless possession to end the game.

The action continued Monday night in Macon, Ga., as the Dolphins fought through 16 lead-changes against the Mercer Bears (16-7, 10-2).

Kennesaw state started the game with a 14-10 edge, fowling freshman forward Briana Brown in the process and allowing her to hit three free throws to cut the deficit to one. The lead changed another three times before the half ended with JU up 27-26.

Junior forward Jade Cargill had 16 points on the night to lead the Dolphins’ offensive. Cargill continued on to have a stellar second half, coming in the clutch as she turned an offensive-rebound into a layup to cut JU’s second half deficit to a bucket in the last five minutes. Alford picked up a JU rebound and took it to the basket, but was blocked by Mercer forward Ry’van Buchanan. Mercer guard Sharena Boykin followed the play with a 3-point shot to give Mercer a 62-57 advantage.

Senior guard Maggie Wilson connected a 3-pointer in the last minutes to make the score 64-60, but the Bears sealed their win with a jump shot.

Even though the ladies have struggled of late, their game play has improved. Their next game is slated for this Saturday at home against cross town rival, UNF. The A-Sun action begins at 1:00 p.m. in the Swisher Gymnasium.

First-Half Blues Plague the Lady Dolphins

Photo by Ben Watford

The Jacksonville University women’s basketball team struggled through another pair of games this past weekend, losing to the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles (17-5, 11-0 A-Sun) Saturday afternoon and the Stetson Hatters (16-6 9-2 A-Sun) Monday afternoon.

The Lady Dolphins have lost the five of their  last six encounters, due to not putting points on the board in the first half of play.

In Saturday’s game against the Eagles, doom was spelled out early for the Lady Dolphins, as the Eagles scored 42 points in the first half to set up their eleventh straight win. FGCU guard Jamie Gluesing accounted for half of the three-point buckets made by the Eagles and led her team with 20 points on the night.

The Eagles opened the first half with an 8-0 run on the Dolphins, interrupted by a shot from freshman forward Briona Brown. The Eagles responded with a crushing 18-4 run to give them a 26-6 advantage with eight minutes left in the first half. Freshman guard Queen Alford lead a 7-0 run for JU at the end of the first, but FGCU capped off the half with a three-pointer to  leave the score 42-19.

Alford had 18 points and eight boards on the night and senior forward Tracie Sneed rounded off the major scorers with 12 points and 8 boards.

The Dolphins hoped to break their losing streak Monday against Stetson, but to no avail, losing 72-51 in the Swisher Gymnasium.

The ladies seemed to shake off their first half blues, leading the Hatters by 12 with six minutes left at the end of the first. A quick 8-2 run on the Dolphins would put Stetson back in the game, setting the score at 28-24 with 3:55 left. Sophomore guard Britney Holiday scored her second three-pointer of the half to put JU up by 7, but Stetson responded with a 9-0 stretch to end the half 35-30 in the Hatters favor.

The Hatters opened the second half with a 10-2 run and stayed ahead by double digits for the remainder of the game, effectively putting an end to the Dolphins’ hopes of snapping their slump.

Alford led the Dolphins again with 18 points and another 8 boards to her name. Senior guard Maggie Wilson and Holiday had 10 and 8 points on the night, respectively.

The Dolphins (7-15, 3-8 A-Sun) hope to rally and soar past their previous performances this weekend, as they start an A-Sun weekend playing Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga., Saturday at noon.

Dolphins Split Homestand with Two Hard Fought Battles

Photo by Austin Weaver

The Dolphins men’s basketball team returned to the friendly confines of the historic Swisher Gymnasium in a tie for first place in the Atlantic Sun. JU was set to host Stetson, who defeated the Dolphins in DeLand earlier this year, and Florida Gulf Coast, who had their way with JU in their earlier meeting.

First on tap for the Dolphins was Stetson. JU battled back and forth with the Hatters all game and took their final lead late in the game on a put back lay-up to go up 71-7o.

McDougald had a team high 19 points and seven rebounds as the Dolphins won their fifth of their last six games. Kordario Fleming recorded a career-high 16 points with five coming in the final two minutes.

JU jumped out to a 17-8 lead before the Hatters were able to crawl back in and take a 34-30 lead at the half.
The lead changed hands 15 times in the second half, eight of those coming in the final four minutes of play.

With 1:25 to play, Stetson’s Chris Perez converted a three-point play, for three of his game leading 32 points. Fleming answered with a three-point play of his own to regain the lead for JU. As he did so often, Perez put the Hatters back up with under a minute to play.

On their last possession, McDougald was able to put back a Jarvis Haywood shot that was off the mark. The Dolphins held tough at the defensive end holding on for a tough fought win.

The second game of the weekend had the Dolphins taking on FGCU. The game pinned the two leaders of the A-Sun against one another with the top-spot on the line.

JU (12-12, 7-4) fought back late but fell short, dropping the game 81-78 to Gulf Coast (16-8, 8-3).

Freshman Jarvis Haywood led the way for the Dolphins with 16 points and added six rebounds while junior Dylan Fritsch went 4-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 15 points off the bench.

Down 10 with 11 minutes to go, the Dolphins fought back to within a point on a pair of free throws with 1:16 to play from senior Russell Powell.

With eight seconds left, the Eagles hit one of two free throws, stretching their lead to 3, leaving JU with a chance to tie and send the game to overtime.

The Dolphins spent most of the game without junior guard and leading scorer Keith McDougald, who was ejected after being in the middle of a skirmish that broke out early in the first half. McDougald was attempting to break up the fight but wound up on the bad side of the outcome.

Next up for the Dolphins is a match-up against Mercer in Macon, Ga., before traveling to Kennesaw, Ga.

Rough Weekend on the Road for the Lady Dolphins

The Lady Dolphins basketball team had a rough weekend on the road, losing to USC upstate 72-53, and falling 74-57 to East Tennessee State University. In both games the opposing teams simply out-played the Dolphins.

USC Upstate (7-12, 3-5 A-Sun) played a solid first half Saturday at the Hodge Center, finishing ahead by 17 points at the intermission. USC Upstate guard Tweety Hawkins scored on a layup to initiate a 12-1 run on the Dolphins early in the first half.

Freshman guard Queen Alford came off the bench to stop the Spartans scoring run with two layups and a three-pointer shrinking the deficit 23-20. The run was short lived however as USC Upstate forward Lauren McRoberts sunk a three-point basket to start a 17-3 run on the Dolphins. USC Upstate would hold on to their lead through the entire second half, spelling the end for the Dolphins.

The Lady Dolphins then traveled to Johnson City, TN to take on the Lady Bucs (5-11, 3-6 A-Sun) at the ETSU/MSHA Center. The first half started slow again for the Dolphins, with ETSU center Tiana Burley putting up eight points off the bench to give ETSU the lead, 19-8. The Dolphins cut the deficit to seven points on free throws, but an 11-2 run by ETSU would see the Bucs with a 43-25 half time lead.

The Dolphins showed improvement from the past three games, starting the second half strong. Sophomore guard Britney Holliday cut the deficit 47-32 on a layup, but ETSU responded with a three-point bucket to make their largest lead of the game, 56-35, with 12 minutes of play remaining. Senior forward Tracie Sneed would sink two free-throws with 8:14 left to cut ETSU’s lead to 15, but Burley added two more buckets to secure the win.

The Dolphins(7-13, 3-6 A-Sun) hope to rally and break their three game skid  in a double-header this weekend at home against Florida Gulf Coast University.

JU Finishes Road Swing 2-1, Four-Game Winning-Streak Comes to an End.

The Jacksonville University men’s basketball team continued their conference road trip with visits to East Tennessee State and USC Upstate this past weekend following their big win at UNF Arena against the Ospreys.
The Dolphins started off the trip north with an 83-80 victory over the Buccaneers of ETSU, (5-15, 3-4) using yet another very balanced approach. Keith McDougald had a game-high 23 points, adding three assists and four steals for the Dolphins. Dylan Fritsch added 17 points of his own, draining five three-pointers in the game.
Atlantic Sun newcomer of the week, Javon Dawson, scored 16 points including six in the last 1:20 of the contest. Russell Powell served up a bit of déjà vu as he hit a long jump shot from the right wing that put JU ahead and sealed the victory for the Dolphins.
JU’s next challenge took them to Spartanburg, S. C. where the Dolphins did not fair as well as they had in their previous four games. USC Upstate was able to defeat the Dolphins 79-64 after a 36.7 shooting percentage from the field in the second half.

McDougald and Glenn Powell led the Dolphins with 12 points and five rebounds each, accompanied by 11 points and six rebounds from Kordario Fleming.
JU found itself behind 15-5 early on in the match-up despite scoring the first three points of the game. The Dolphins would fight back late in the first half to take a 32-31 lead over the Spartans. The Spartans went on to score the last four points of the first half taking a 35-32 lead into the intermission. The Spartans contained that momentum at the start of the second half as they opened with a 14-3 run, taking command of the game.
The Dolphins would get no closer than 14 points for the rest of the game. The loss snaps the Dolphin’s four-game winning-streak which had been their longest since they won nine in a row in the 2009-2010 season that saw them capture the A-Sun title.
Next up, the Dolphins (11-11, 6-3) return home to the friendly confines of the Swisher Gymnasium for a Thursday night match-up with Stetson who defeated the Dolphins 81-72 in DeLand, Fla. in early January.
The Dolphins conclude the two-game home stand with an afternoon battle with Florida Gulf Coast University who also defeated the Dolphins recently by a score of 78-55.
The Dolphins are currently in a three-way tie for first place in the A-Sun with both FGCU and Stetson, making the next two games crucial as the team gets down to the final stretch of games of the regular season.

Lady Dolphins Basketball Falls Short Against UNF CF

Photo by Austin Weaver

After the men’s basketball win this past Friday, the River City Rumble continued into Saturday when the lady Dolphin’s basketball team (7-11, 3-4 A-Sun) took on cross-town rivals, the University of North Florida Ospreys (8-10, 4-3A-Sun).

After a rough first half, the Dolphins cut the deficit to 3 points with 10 seconds left to play but lost out on time. The Ospreys padded their score going in the first half with five successful three-point attempts, a move which served to eventually set up their win. UNF guard Jadhken Kerr scored 14 points to lead the UNF’s scorers, three of which were in double figures.

The Dolphins started the second half down by 15 points, but came in with a second wind, as the Dolphins made an 8-3 run to cut the deficit 44-39. UNF responded with a three-pointer from Kerr, but the Dolphins kicked back with a quick six points from sophomore guard Britney Holiday.

UNF guard Deasney Smith put double digits on the board in 8 minutes, putting the score at 65-58 with four minutes left of play. Senior forward Tracie Sneed hit a three-pointer, while junior guard Stephanie Edwards scored a jump shot to cut UNF’s lead 66-63 with 43 seconds left to play. UNF called a timeout with 16 seconds left of play, but made a turnover to the Dolphins after the break. Unfortunately the Dolphins were not able to score the three-point basket to win the game.

Sneed led the lady Dolphins in scoring during the game with 17 points, followed by junior guard Ronisha Mitchell, who had 10 points on the night. Sneed also matched junior forward Jade Cargill in rebounds for the night. The Dolphins shot 50 percent for field goals and made four out of seven field goals in the second half.

The Dolphins are resting and recuperating this week as they prepare to take on USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. at 2 p.m.

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