JU races past Upstate for tenth straight win, 79-63
Using a suffocating defense, the JU men’s basketball team ran away with its 10th straight win with a 79-63 victory at USC Upstate at the Hodge Center on Sunday afternoon, staying atop the Atlantic Sun Conference standings.

Ben Smith led the Dolphins (13-8, 9-3 A-Sun) with 23 points, his 17th straight game in double figures and his 11th 20-plus scoring effort of the season. The senior recorded four steals to become the all-time leader in steals at JU, giving him 211 for his career to surpass the record set by Jeremy Livingston in 1995.

JU’s 10-game winning streak is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in school history and the first double digit winning streak since 1980.

“We did a good job of pressuring the basketball today and forcing turnovers,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “The guys did a good job of following the scouting report and opening the game with a lot of energy.”

JU forced Upstate (3-18, 3-9 A-Sun) into 25 turnovers, cashing them into a season-high 31 points. Upstate shot less than 40 percent from the floor in the game, with JU getting 21 more shot attempts in the game.

The game turned quickly in the first half. JU opened the game with a 9-0 run and then used a 15-4 run late in the half as the Dolphins took a 44-28 lead at halftime. The 44 points was JU’s highest first half output this season as the Dolphins hit 19-of-33 (57.6 percent) from the floor.

JU opened the second half by scoring the first five points to push the lead to 21 and Upstate hung around the rest of the game, but were never able to get any closer than 13 in the final 18 minutes.

Lehmon Colbert and Travis Cohn joined Smith in double figures for JU. Colbert had 12 points and a team-high six rebounds while Cohn had 10 points and three steals.

As a team, JU recorded 13 steals in the contest with seven players recording at least one steal.

Upstate got 18 points from Pat Posey with Ryan LeGates adding 17 points and Carter Cook added 11 off the bench.

Jacksonville is off until Friday when they travel for a crucial two-game road trip to Music City, starting with the A-Sun “Game of the Week” at Belmont on Friday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.