Slow start dooms JU in 73-66 loss to Winthrop
Winthrop scored the first 10 points of the game and never trailed as the JU men’s basketball team saw its six-game winning streak come to an end with a 73-66 loss.

Robbie Dreher scored a game-high 18 points for Winthrop (5-5), hitting 9-of-13 from the free throw line to lead four Eagles in double figures.

Delwan Graham came off the bench with another huge game for JU, scoring a team-high 17 points, with 11 coming in the second half.

“We got off to a bad start missing some layups and giving up some easy baskets in transition,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We felt like once we tied the game we were going to keep the run going, but we had another mental lapse on defense and you can’t do that against a team like this.”

The Dolphins (6-2) trailed for the first time at halftime this season and had a season-low two steals, forcing only 10 turnovers. Winthrop took advantage of its opportunities, scoring 10 fast break points and 16 second chance points.

Winthrop also held a 44-39 advantage on the glass, the first time this season JU has not won the rebounding battle.

Trailing by four at the half, JU saw Winthrop extend the lead to, 45-39, on a Gideon Gamble 3-pointer with 11:36 left in the game. The Dolphins went on a 7-1 run, with Russell Powell hitting a 3-pointer with 10:10 left in the game to tie the game at 46.

On the ensuing possession, Gamble knocked down an open 3-pointer to put the Eagles up for good. The Dolphins battled back to cut the deficit to one twice, but could never get the much-needed stop for a chance to tie or take the lead.

Graham’s season-high 17 came by hitting 7-of-13 from the floor with a team-high nine rebounds. Ayron Hardy added 12 points before fouling out with 1:05 left in the game.

Winthrop came racing out of the gates to take a 10-0 lead, but the Dolphins rallied to trail by just four at the intermission, 32-28, thanks to eight points from Hardy.

The Eagles got 12 points and nine rebounds from George Valentine, 10 points from Andre Jones and 10 points from Gamble, with all of his coming in the second half.

The Dolphins return to the court on Wednesday when they travel to face Saint Louis. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST).

-The 10-0 early deficit is the largest faced by the Dolphins since being down 14 at Miami in the season opener.