THURSDAY, JANUARY 08, 2009
JU men set to host Mercer on Friday night
Since returning Downtown two years ago, the JU men’s basketball team has done its job in protecting its home court – winning more than two-thirds of its games at home.

On Friday night, the Dolphins (4-8, 3-1 A-Sun) host Mercer (7-7, 1-2 A-Sun) in the Atlantic Sun Conference “Game of the Week” at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., with the game being televised regionally on Comcast Sports Southeast.

JU is coming off of a split of its two-game road trip to ETSU and USC Upstate. In the win over Upstate on Monday, JU put up 79 points with a career-high 18 coming from Travis Cohn.

“We’re excited to get back home after a tough road trip, but we have a big task in playing a talented Mercer team,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We haven’t been as sharp on defense in the last couple of games and that is something we have to improve.”

The Dolphins have won two of their last three games with an influx of offense – putting up at least 79 points per game in each outing.

Team basketball has been the source of this new-found point-scoring machine. The Dolphins have had more than half of their baskets off of an assist in the last three games. Prior to this streak, it had only happened four times this season.

Where has the scoring come from? The two and three positions on the floor – namely a scoring surge by Ayron Hardy and Travis Cohn.

The two sophomores have scored in double figures the last two games, with Hardy hitting 14 straight shots over the last two-plus games. Cohn has also been distributing the ball to his teammates, dishing out an average of 3.3 per game over the last three games.

The Bears have struggled of late, dropping five of their last seven after a rocking start to the season that saw Mercer knock off Alabama and Auburn on the road.

The game will also be broadcast locally on 1010XL, with Barry Milligan calling the play-by-play. The Bono’s Bar-B-Q pregame show airs at 6:45 p.m.