FRIDAY, JANUARY 02, 2009
Dolphins set for showdown with ETSU
The JU men’s basketball team hits the road in a big way to start 2009.

The Dolphins (3-7, 2-0 A-Sun) resume Atlantic Sun Conference place with a trip to East Tennessee State (8-4, 2-0 A-Sun) on Saturday with first place on the line.

JU’s second major showdown in the early part of the A-Sun schedule tips off at 4 p.m.

“ETSU is a good team that is off to a good start this season,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “They are always well coached and play well at home. They have two of the top players in the conference and their entire team plays hard every time out.”

The Dolphins are coming into the game with momentum after knocking off former A-Sun champion Troy at home on Monday.

In putting together their best 40 minutes of the season, the Dolphins received contributions from everyone on the team as every player recorded at least one rebound.

JU also had 27 assists on 34 baskets, both new season highs.

“Our focus and intensity was there from the start of the game,” Warren said. “We did a good job of limiting our mistakes and being aggressive on offense.”

One of the major contributors to the win was senior center Marcus Allen. Allen picked up his first double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. With his scoring effort, Allen moved into 19th place on the school’s all-time scoring list.

Another major player in the win was Ben Smith, who led JU in scoring with 19 points. Smith did it all in the game – hit five 3-pointers, dished out six assists, had four steals, two rebounds with just one turnover.

Smith is within striking distance of joining Allen in the 1,000-point club, needing just 43 points to become the 25th player at JU to reach the prestigious milestone.

The game will be broadcast on 1010XL, with Joel Lamp filling in for Barry Milligan on the play-by-play.