Dolphins fall to late Baylor 3-point barrage, 76-68
Cliff Warren had been looking for a complete game from his team.

He got that on Monday night, but the JU men’s basketball team fell to a barrage of 3-ponters by Baylor as the Bears took home a 76-68 win at the Ferrell Center.

While the end result wasn’t what Warren was looking for, the effort was and there were some very promising signs – one of those being a team-high 21 points from Ben Smith, who hit 8-of-11 from the floor and was 2-for-4 from behind the arc.

“We had a good effort tonight and that is all you can ask for against a team like Baylor,” Warren said. “They are very good team and we made a few mistakes that you can’t make against these types of teams.”

The Bears (4-0) hit 12 3-pointers in the contest, led by seven from LaceDarius Dunn who scored a game-high 23 off the bench. Curtis Jerrells had 18 points and eight assists, highlighting four Bears in double figures.

One of the bright spots was the improved production at shooting guard as Travis Cohn tied his career high with 11 points in his first career start. Evan Jefferson, coming off the bench for the first time this season, responded with eight points – including two 3-pointers that moved him into a tie for 10th on the school’s all-time 3-pointer list with Antonio Cool.

Jacksonville also owned a 36-25 advantage on the boards, led by Aric Brooks, who had six, and out scored the taller Bears by 10 in the paint.

Another positive was the Dolphins start to the game. Having fallen behind by double digits at halftime in the first three games, JU had its first solid first half – trailing by just two in a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes.

While the positive start was a major plus, the Dolphins also found their shooting touch – hitting 27-of-52 from the floor (51.9 percent) and hit five 3-pointers.

“We did a good job of running our offense and getting good shots,” Warren said. “That’s what we try to do – move the ball around and get high-percentage shots.”

Trailing by two, 34-32, at the half, the Dolphins tied the game on the opening possession and took a 40-39 lead on a Smith 3-pointer with 17:39 left in the game.

The Bears answered with a 10-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 49-42 lead, capping the run with back-to-back Dunn 3-pointers.

The Dolphins battled back, cutting the lead to three with 8:26 to go, but the Bears didn’t let the lead slip away, holding on for the victory.

Jacksonville will wrap up its two-game road trip on Friday by going north to face Georgia Tech. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.