Men’s hoops drops opener at Georgia, 68-62
The JU men’s basketball team couldn’t get over the hump in a 68-62 loss at Georgia Friday night in Stegeman Coliseum.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 17 points with the help of 10 free throws to lead the Bulldogs (1-0) offense. Nemanja Djrusic added 14 points and 12 rebounds, while nine other Georgia players finished at least one bucket.

The Dolphins (0-1) were doomed by a slow first half, shooting 24.2 percent from the floor (8-33). They went 15-for-28 from the floor in the second half, but couldn’t catch the Bulldogs.

“I was proud of the effort in the second half,” JU head coach Cliff Warren said. “We definitely had our chances, but were not able to capitalize on them. We will work on correcting the mistakes before Tuesday.”

Trailing by 13 the second half, the Dolphins cut the deficit to 40-36 (15:16) on three-point plays from juniors Javon Dawson and Keith McDougald and a three-pointer by junior Dylan Fritsch. The Dolphins got within two possessions again, but seven free throws by Caldwell-Pope helped the Bulldogs push the lead to double-digits at 60-48 (6:49).

JU trimmed Georgia’s lead to 61-55 on jumpers by Haywood and Dawson with 3:04 left. After more Georgia free throws, Haywood got it to a 66-62 deficit with less than a minute remaining. Two missed JU free throws and a turnover would help the Bulldogs quash the rally for the win.

McDougald led the Dolphins with 13 points, while seniors Glenn Powell (11) and Russell Powell (10) each finished in double-digits. Haywood added nine points and Dawson tallied seven in his first game at JU.

In the first half, the Bulldogs took advantage on a slow start by the Dolphins to build a 14-4 lead (13:02) on a dunk by Tim Dixon. After the media timeout, Haywood hit a three-pointer and freshman Kordario Fleming recorded a layup to pull the Dolphins to 16-11 with 10:56 left. The Dolphins cut the deficit to 21-15 less than three minutes later on a Powell layup from a Haywood steal. Georgia ended the half on a 13-6 run, capped on Caldwell-Pope three-pointer, for a 34-21 advantage.

The Dolphins return to action Tuesday when they host Trinity Baptist College in the home opener at the Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.