WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2009
Dolphins fall in NIT to Florida
The JU men’s basketball team saw its season come to a conclusion on Wednesday night as the Dolphins fell in the first round of the NIT to Florida, 84-62.

The Gators (24-10) had one of their best shooting night of the season, hitting 9-of-19 from 3-point land, finishing the game hitting 57.1 percent from the floor.

Florida was led by Nick Calathes with a game-high 19 points and six assists, leading five Gators in double figures. Chandler Parsons had a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds as well for Florida.

“This was a disappointing loss, but it still doesn’t diminish what we accomplished this season,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We were able to win the first regular season championship in school history and advanced to the postseason for the first time in 22 years.

“We’re going to use this experience as a building block to get better for next season.”

The Dolphins (18-14) got 11 points from Lehmon Colbert, leading two Dolphins in double figures, along with a team-high six rebounds. Marcus Allen scored 10 points in his final game as a Dolphin.

After falling behind 10-2, the Dolphins scored six straight points, capping the run with a Lehmon Colbert putback with 14:41 left in the first half.

From there, the Gators slowly pulled away to take control of the game. Florida went on a 13-4 run to push the lead to 11 and eventually took a 49-28 lead into halftime, hitting 19-of-30 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from behind the arc.

JU never was able to mount a second half as the Gators extended the lead to as many as 28 in the second half.

Florida got 13 points from Alex Tyus, 11 from Erving Walker and 10 from Dan Werner. The loss was the largest margin of defeat for the Dolphins this season, eclipsing the previous high of 17 set in the A-Sun Championship game against ETSU. It is JU’s worst postseason margin of defeat in school history, topping the record of 17 set in a 70-53 loss to Virginia Tech in the first round of the 1979 NCAA Tournament.