Dolphins top Savannah State in home opener, 64-54
Two big runs to start each half led the JU men’s basketball team to a 64-54 win in its home opener over Savannah State at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Tuesday night.

Sophomore Glenn Powell posted his first career double-double, scoring a team-high 16 points and game-high 10 rebounds. He hit 6-of-8 shots from the floor and was a force on the defensive glass, getting seven defensive rebounds.

The Dolphins (1-1) opened the game with a 15-2 spurt and expanded an 8-point halftime lead thanks to a 14-4 run to start the second half.

“Our effort was good tonight,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Our defensive pressure early forced some turnovers and we were able to convert those for easy baskets.”

Leading by eight at halftime, JU got hot behind the arc – hitting four 3-pointers in the first four minutes to expand the lead to 48-30 with 16 minutes left.

Savannah State was never able to mount a serious run the rest of the way, getting as close as eight with just 1:17 left in the game.

Ayron Hardy had a stellar stat line for the Dolphins, scoring 14 points, pulling down six rebounds while dishing out seven assists to go along with three blocks and four steals.

JU raced out of the gates, opening up a 15-2 lead in the first four minutes en route to a 34-26 lead at halftime. Powell had 11 points and six rebounds at the intermission for JU.

Savannah State (1-2) got a game-high 17 points from Keierre Richards with Jovonni Shuler adding 13.

The Dolphins wrap up their season-opening homestand on Saturday as they host Florida Tech. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

- This is the earliest JU has won a game since the 2007-08 season. The Dolphins have started the last two seasons 0-5.
-JU scored the first eight points for the second straight game. JU led 14-3 early at Miami and opened up a 15-2 lead on SSU tonight.
-The Dolphins had trouble at the free throw line, hitting just 6-of-16. JU had hit 79.2 percent of its free throws in the opener at Miami.
-Jacksonville controlled the glass against Savannah State, owning a 34-30 edge in rebounds and scored nine second chance points on nine offensive rebounds.
-The Dolphins have now five straight against Savannah State and own a 15-1 record in the all-time series.