JU (1-2) outlasted a second half rally by Samford (0-2), 70-57.
Getting his first career start, Aloys Cabell scored a team-high 17 for JU – his second straight game as the Dolphins leading scorer.
“We need everyone on the team to contribute for us to be successful and we got that tonight,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Everyone had a hand in this win – whether it was making a deflection on defense, getting a rebound or contesting a shot.”
The Dolphins hit 50 percent of their shot from the floor on the evening and finished 9-of-19 from behind the arc, with Cabell hitting all four attempts.
The team concept Warren talked about produced 16 assists on 27 baskets, along with a 9-rebound advantage that created 12 second chance points.
Sporting a 17-point halftime lead, JU pushed it to 19 early before the Bulldogs slowly clawed back into the game, cutting the deficit to nine, 63-54, with 4:34 left in the game.
Delwan Graham answered the run with a 10-foot fadeaway jumper, drawing the foul and the 3-point play put JU back up by 12 and the Dolphins never looked back to seal their first win of the season.
Samford got a game-high 22 points from Jeffrey Merritt, the only Bulldog to finish in double figures.
The Dolphins used a 14-5 run midway through the first half and Glenn Powell’s putback at the buzzer gave JU a 42-25 lead at the intermission.
Glenn Powell had his best night of the young season, racking 14 points and six rebounds. Chris Davis scored a career-high 11 points, hitting two 3-pointers, while Keith McDougald came off the bench with 11.
Russell Powell dished seven assists to go with six points and four rebounds.
Jacksonville hits the road for the next month, starting with a trip to Bethune-Cookman on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.