Cold shooting night dooms JU in 64-54 loss at Georgia State
There seemed to be a lid on the basket for the Dolphins as the JU men’s basketball team fell to Georgia State, 64-54, at the GSU Sports Arena.

The Dolphins (0-4) hit just 20-of-65 from the floor, going 3-for-20 from behind the arc. JU pulled down 40 rebounds, with 20 on the offensive end – seven of those by Ayron Hardy who scored a team-high 11 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Georgia State (4-4) took advantage of its defensive effort with an efficient offensive performance – connecting on 50 percent of its shots. Trae Goldston had all of his game-high 19 points in the first half while Xavier Hansbro led the second half charge with 13 of his 15 coming in the final stanza.

“We had a lot of good looks tonight,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We let their best player get hot and they took advantage. They are a very good defensive team and they showed it tonight.”

After trailing by nine at the half, 30-21, the Dolphins bounced out of the locker room by going on a 15-6 run – capped by a Tevin Galvin putback to tie the game at 36 with 13:21 left in the game.

With the game tied at 38, the Panthers answered with a 7-1 run to take a 45-39 lead with 8:36 left on a Hansbro spinning layup in the lane.

That layup jump started Hansbro who scored those 13 second half points all in the final eight minutes – carrying the Panthers to the finish line.

The Dolphins had their chances late in the game, but couldn’t get the game tied again. JU had the deficit down to one possession several times, but couldn’t get a stop on defense.

With the Panthers clinging to a three-point lead, 51-48, with 4:26 left, Georgia State went on a 10-3 run over the next four minutes with JU’s only scoring coming from three free throws. During the stretch, JU was 0-for-5 – including 0-for-4 from behind the arc.

In the second half, Georgia State was 12-of-20 from the floor, taking just one 3-point shot and going 10-of-16 from the free throw line. The Dolphins were 11-of-30 and 2-of-14 from behind the arc, hitting 9-of-12 from the stripe.

Behind four Goldston 3-pointers in the first half, the Panthers took a 30-21 lead at halftime, holding JU to just 9-of-35 from the floor.

Colbert added 10 points before fouling out for JU. Ben Smith finished with seven points and seven rebounds, hitting just 3-of-16 from the floor.

Joe Dukes added 11 points with five assists for the Panthers while Hansbro had a team-high nine boards.

The Dolphins are in action again on Friday when the host nationally ranked Florida in the home opener at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.