Men's basketball wins second straight, 74-55

Jan. 5, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU men's basketball team has made a habit of slow starts this season.

The Dolphins (5-8, 2-0 A-Sun) were able to awaken from their slumber early enough to open Atlantic Sun Conference play 2-0 for just the second time with a 74-55 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.

A balanced scoring effort paced Jacksonville, as nine of the 10 Dolphins that played scored. Ben Smith led three Dolphins in double figures with a game-high 16 points.

Lehmon Colbert added 15 points and seven rebounds for JU. Evan Jefferson scored in double figures in his fourth straight start with 13 points.

"This win was all about effort," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We got a great effort from everyone on the team, which is what we need to be successful this season."

The effort by the Dolphins showed in the stats as JU owned a 41-24 rebounding edge, with Marcus Allen leading the team with nine.

Jacksonville also had one of its best shooting nights of the season, hitting 50 percent of its shots in the second half and 27-of-32 from the free throw line.

"The coaches preach effort every day in practice and that is what got us through today," Colbert said. "We executed on offense and did the things we had to do to win."

While the Dolphins were able to win by 19, it didn't start out that way. The Eagles (5-10, 1-1 A-Sun) opened the game on a 16-4 run over the first seven minutes of the game, eerily similar to the Dolphins slow start two nights prior.

But once Jacksonville hit a few shots, they got rolling.

After cutting that 12-point deficit in half, 27-21 with five minutes to go in the opening stanza, the Dolphins closed the half on a 16-7 run to take a three-point lead at the half.

The run was sparked by Jefferson, who scored seven points during that stretch, including a rare four-point play.

Playing with the lead at the half for the first time in the last nine games, JU never relinquished control in the second half. The Dolphins pushed the lead to eight in the first five minutes and never looked back as the Eagles were only able to within six in the final 15 minutes.

The Eagles got 13 points from Casey Wohlleb, who hit just 5-of-19 from the floor. Adam Liddell and Delvin Franklin had 10 apiece.

After two straight at home, the Dolphins return to the road on Thursday to face Kennesaw State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.