Dolphins rally for overtime win over USC Upstate, 57-47
The JU men’s basketball team knows defense.

On Thursday, the Dolphins needed it, surviving a low scoring battle with USC Upstate in overtime by holding the Spartans scoreless in the extra session for a 57-47 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play.

Ayron Hardy and Keith McDougald scored a game-high 15 points for JU (11-4, 5-1 A-Sun) as the Dolphins won their sixth straight at home.

With the game tied at 45 at the end of regulation, JU dominated the extra session with a 12-2 run as Upstate’s only points of overtime came with 13 seconds left in the game.

“Any win is a good win in conference play,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We gave up a lot of second chances points, but we did a good enough job of pressuring the basketball to force some turnovers.”

JU held the Spartans to just 28.1 percent shooting in the game and held to 1-of-10 in overtime. Upstate (2-14, 1-5 A-Sun) got a team-high 12 points from Torrey Craig, who was 4-of-17 from the floor and 2-of-10 from behind the arc.

The Spartans were able to stay in the game thanks to their rebounding. Upstate held a 48-44 advantage on the boards, with 19 offensive rebounds.

Having watched JU take a 45-42 lead on Keith McDougald’s first 3-pointer of the night, Josh Chavis answered with a trey of his own after an offensive rebound by Upstate with 27.5 seconds left in regulation.

Trailing by five at the half, 25-20, JU eventually tied the game at 30 on Travis Cohn layup with 11:48 left in the second half. Just as you though JU was going to pull away, the Spartans took a 37-34 lead on a pair of Craig free throws with 6:42 left in regulation.

Jacksonville’s defense came to life, holding the Spartans scoreless over the next four minutes to spark an 8-0 run, capped by a Russell Powell free throw to take a 42-37 lead with 3:24 remaining in the second half.

Upstate rallied to tie the game at 42 on a Craig dunk with 2:18 left in regulation and sent it to overtime with Chavis’ trey.

Tevin Galvin led JU with 11 rebounds off the bench, with seven coming on the offensive end. Delwan Graham had 10 rebounds as the duo combined for 10 points and 21 rebounds at the power forward position.

USC Upstate used a 11-0 run midway through the first half to build a seven-point lead and Josh Chavis’ 3-pointer at the buzzer ended JU’s run and gave the Spartans a 25-20 lead at the intermission.

The Dolphins wrap up their short two-game homestand against two-time defending A-Sun tournament champion, ETSU. Tipoff is set for 3:15 p.m. at the Arena.

- The Dolphins trailed at the half for the second straight game. JU is 3-2 when they trail at the half this year.
-Ayron Hardy led the Dolphins in scoring for the third time this season and the second time in the last three games.
- It was Keith McDougald’s second double digit scoring effort in the last three games and the fourth time this season he has led JU in scoring.
-The 45 points is the fewest scored by the Dolphins in regulation during the Cliff Warren era and the lowest since a 43 point output at Samford on Feb. 8, 2003.
-The 104 point total is the second-lowest scoring overtime game in program history, just missing the record of 102 set in a 52-50 loss to South Florida on Feb. 27, 1981.
-JU has now won its last three games in overtime and has a 7-4 record in overtime games during the Cliff Warren era.