JU survives second half run to beat Stetson, 80-70
Trailing by seven with seven minutes to go, the JU men’s basketball team had its back firmly against the wall.

The Dolphins (5-8, 2-3 A-Sun) went on a 12-1 run over the next three minutes to take the lead and never looked back to pick up an 80-70 win over Stetson (3-10, 1-4 A-Sun) at the Edmunds Center on Friday night.

Ben Smith scored a game-high 23 points, with 15 coming in the final seven minutes, putting up his sixth straight 20-point scoring effort to lead four Dolphins in double figures.

“When we fell behind, we did a good job of staying calm and doing the right things to retake the lead,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We did a lot of things good early, but we have to keep that intensity and pressure up for 40 minutes.”

Sporting a five-point lead at halftime, JU pushed the lead to eight before the Hatters used a 16-5 run – with Ridge Graham capping it with a layup to give the Hatters a 58-51 lead with 6:57 left in the game.

JU scored the next seven points in just over a minute, with Smith sparking the run with a 3-pointer and Hardy capping the quick spurt with a putback to tie the game at 58 with 5:40 left.

After a Brandon Williams free throw, the Dolphins went on a 9-2 run – with Smith capping the spurt with a 14-foot jumper to put JU ahead by six, 67-61, with 1:57 left.

Stetson cut the lead to four, but got no closer as JU hit 13 of its final 14 free throw attempts to seal the win.

Travis Cohn added 13 points for JU, with Glenn Powell scoring a season-high 11 points and Tevin Galvin adding 11 points in place of Lehmon Colbert in the starting lineup. Powell led the Dolphins with seven rebounds as JU held a 35-31 edge on the glass.

Jacksonville scored the first 11 points of the game and held the Hatters without a field goal for the first 10 minutes, but saw the Hatters battle back to cut the lead to 35-30 at halftime.

Stetson got 21 points from A.J. Smith along with 19 points and a team-high six rebounds from Graham.

The Dolphins return to action as they wrap up their two-game road swing at Florida Gulf Coast. Tipoff is set for 2:05 p.m.