JU set to face Mercer in A-Sun semifinals
With the quarterfinals in the review mirror, the JU men’s basketball team has its sights set on Friday’s Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinal matchup with Mercer.

Tipoff is set for 9 p.m., with the game being broadcast on Comcast Sports Southeast (Channel 54 in Jacksonville). Fans can also follow the radio broadcast on 1010XL with Barry Milligan and Artis Gilmore calling the action. There will also be a live blog on

JU (19-11) is looking for its third straight berth in the championship game.

“We’re just thankful to be playing another game,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We know we have a tough game ahead of us and we need to be prepared to play hard for 40 minutes.”

Jacksonville got huge efforts from Ben Smith and Lehmon Colbert in the quarterfinal win over UNF. Each senior had 24 points in the game, with Colbert pulling down a team-high nine rebounds.

JU will need a better defensive effort than what they had in its first tournament game. The Dolphins gave up 12 3-pointers in the game, but held UNF to less than 40 percent shooting, while controlling the glass with a sizeable rebound advantage.

Mercer earned its spot in the semifinals by upsetting No. 3 seed Belmont on Thursday night, 87-81. The Bears hit 11 3-pointers in the game, with James Florence hitting four, in front of a packed house at the University Center.

The Dolphins are very familiar with the Bears, having split the season series.

Mercer came away with a controversial 75-74 win in Jacksonville on Jan. 2, while the Dolphins came back with a 76-64 win at the University Center on Feb. 20.

With Mercer’s upset of Belmont, the Dolphins are the only co-champion to advance to the semifinals and have won the tiebreaker for the automatic bid to the NIT.