SATURDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2008
Men’s basketball handles Lipscomb, 83-67
Sophomore guard Aric Brooks
Sophomore guard Aric Brooks
After a thrilling come-from-behind win over Belmont, the Dolphins led from start to finish while earning the program’s first weekend sweep over Nashville schools as the JU men’s basketball team defeated Lipscomb, 83-67, Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (2-5, 2-0) scored a season-high 83 points after shooting .516 from the field, including an 8-for-17 effort from beyond the arc. The Dolphins dominated the boards (41-25) and came ahead in nearly every statistical category including points in the paint (42-36), points off turnovers (23-12), second-chance points (18-4), fast break points (14-8) and bench points (22-19).

LU (3-4, 1-1) shot .480 in the contest and tied the game on three occasions in the first half but could not find a way to stop the Dolphin offense or quiet the spirited JU “White Out” crowd.

With the win, the Dolphins defeated Belmont and Lipscomb in the same weekend for first time since the Bisons joined the A-Sun in 2003.

“It was a tremendous game and a complete team effort,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Our bench came up big for us when they were called upon and that is something that we expect from them. This was a great win but now its time to start focusing on exams.”

Junior guard Ben Smith led all players with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, to go along with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Sophomore guard Travis Cohn scored a career-best 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including an emphatic alley-oop off a Bisons turnover to get the Dolphins going early.

Sophomore guard Ayron Hardy finished with 13 points and a game-high four steals while junior forward Lehmon Colbert rounded out the JU double-figure scoring with 11 points. Sophomore guard Aric Brooks (seven points), sophomore center Szymon Lukasiak (six points, five rebounds) and freshman forward Will Alston (three points, two rebounds) each led the bench squad.

Brandon Brown led the Bisons with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting while also registering a game-high four steals. Josh Slater added 13 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the charity stripe and Adnan Hodzic chipped in with 12 points.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 11-4 lead after a 3-pointer by Smith (15:33) but the Bisons answered with a 7-0 run to even things up after a dunk by Brown (11:20). The Dolphins would lead by no more than three points for the next seven minutes until a jumper by Alston gave JU a 20-16 advantage with 4:12 left in the half. The Dolphins increased the margin to 27-18 with a pair of free throws by Brooks with 1:48 remaining but a three-point play by Brown cut the margin to 27-21 (1:23). JU ended the half with a layup by Cohn and a free throw by Alston to take a 30-21 lead at the break.

In the second half, JU opened with a layup by Cohn to make it 32-21 (19:10) but the Bisons chipped the lead down to 40-33 with a 3-pointer by Brian Wright (16:01). From there, the sky rained 3’s as senior guard Evan Jefferson, Smith and senior forward Brian Gilbert hit treys in consecutive possessions to put JU up 49-33 (14:46). The Dolphins would never see their lead dip below 10 points for the remainder of the game as JU battled off four attempts by the Bisons. A layup by Hardy with 1:34 remaining would give the Dolphins their largest lead of the contest (83-64).

The Dolphins will take a week off for finals before venturing out on the road to face Ohio State on Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. ET. The contest can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action.