Dolphins tied with FGCU and Stetson at 4-2 on top of the A-Sun standings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The final score is the only thing that matters to the Jacksonville men’s basketball team. The Dolphins improved to 4-2 in the Atlantic Sun after pulling out a 49-47 win over conference preseason favorite Mercer on Saturday.
The victory comes just two days after the Dolphins (9-10; 4-2) outlasted Kennesaw State in a 99-92 triple overtime affair on Thursday. JU also owns a 53-51 A-Sun victory over Northern Kentucky, so if there is one thing the Dolphins have been able to do over the last few weeks is find a way to win regardless of the style of play.
Defense was certainly the calling card for the Dolphins on Saturday. JU forced four misses by Mercer (10-8; 3-2) in the final 41 seconds after freshmen Jarvis Haywood (Charlotte, N.C.) gave the Dolphins the 49-47 lead with a go-ahead left handed layup with 1:07 remaining.
Senior Glenn Powell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and junior Keith McDougald (Jacksonville, Fla.) each had 12 points to lead JU. For Powell it was his fifth straight double-digit game, matching a career best for the 6’6” forward.
The Dolphins harassed Mercer into its second worst shooting performance of the season at 34.0 percent. It was that same defensive pressure that allowed JU to open up a 12-point lead in the first half. JU gained the advantage by using a 13-2 run during the period that was backed by three-pointers from Dylan Fritsch (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Jeremy Bogus (Birmingham, Ala.) and five points from McDougald.
The Bears started to find their grove in the second half, stringing together an 18-3 run to take a 43-39 lead on a Bud Thomas three with 7:06 left. JU quickly answered back taking a 47-43 lead following an 8-0 spurt that was jumped started by a layup from junior Javon Dawson (Cordele, Ga.).
The see-saw game continued as Mercer evened the score at 47-47 on another Thomas jumper with 1:36 left before Haywood put JU on top to stay.
Jacksonville begins a three game road swing at North Florida next Friday.
- Keith McDougald equaled a career high with four steals
- The 49 points are the second fewest points scored in a JU win in school history (31-30 at Rollins, 1/23/60)
- JU owned a +15 advantage in points scored during the 21 minutes Javon Dawson was in the game. Dawson finished with four points and four rebounds
- Jacksonville is 6-1 at Veterans Memorial Arena this season