JU eases past Stetson, 69-54
The JU men’s basketball team used a complete team effort to finish off a sweep of its two-game homestand by dispatching Stetson, 69-54, to maintain at least a share of first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Dolphins (15-10, 11-5 A-Sun) got a team-high 19 points from Ayron Hardy and a career-high 13 points from Tevin Galvin as every Dolphin but one scored in the game. JU’s bench scored 30 points, the second-highest total in a game this season.

JU held the Hatters to just 32.2 percent shooting for the game and a plus-16 advantage on the glass, the second highest advantage this season.

The JU underclassmen carried the day, with senior Ben Smith and Lehmon Colbert combining for just 13 points. Smith scored seven to see his streak of 20 straight games in double figures come to an end, but dished out four assists and had two steals. Colbert meanwhile pulled down a team-high eight rebounds while scoring six points.

“Our effort was good and everyone contributed in some way,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Anytime you hold a team under 35 percent shooting, you’re doing well on defense and we limited them to very few second chances.”

Sporting a four point halftime lead, JU scored the first five points of the second half to take a 39-30 lead with Szymon Lukasiak putting the exclamation point on the spurt with a beautiful spin move for a layup.

Stetson came back to cut the deficit to four, 44-40, on a driving layup by A.J. Smith with 12:08 left in the game.

The Dolphins came right back, scoring the next 10 points to put the game out of reach, with Hardy capping the run with a 15-foot jumper with 8:53 left, taking away any momentum from Stetson as they never got within single digit the rest of the game.

Stetson (6-19, 4-13 A-Sun) was led by A.J. Smith’s game-high 22 points. Mark Lohuis added 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.

The Dolphins built up a 15-point lead in the first half before watching Stetson close on a 19-8 run, with Lohuis ending it with a 3-pointer, to give JU a 34-30 lead at intermission.

Jacksonville hit the road for the final time in the regular season starting Thursday at Kennesaw State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.