MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2008
Ben Smith named A-Sun Player of the Week

Jan. 7, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After helping lead the JU men's basketball team to a 2-0 start in Atlantic Sun Conference play, sophomore point guard Ben Smith was named "Player of the Week" on Monday by the league office.

Smith, a native of Dublin, Ga., scored a career-high 33 points in leading the Dolphins back from a 19-point deficit for a triple overtime win over Stetson. He followed that up with a team-high 16 points against Florida Gulf Coast as the Dolphins cruised to a 74-55 win.

"This is a great honor for Ben but it is also a tremendous honor for our team," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "His teammates made some big contributions that allowed him to do some of the special things that he did. This is just another step in the right direction for our program."

The Dolphins (5-8, 2-0 A-Sun) snapped an eight-game losing streak with Smith's heroics against Stetson. The 33-point effort surpassed his previous high of 28, set in an overtime win at Mercer last season.

In the Stetson game, Smith played 50 of the 55 minutes and hit 10-of-17 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from the 3-point line. He also was 11-of-15 from the free throw line, snapping a streak of 22 straight free throws made.

Against Florida Gulf Coast, Smith scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half as the Dolphins turned a 3-point halftime lead into a 19-point win. Smith hit just 3-of-8 from the floor, but was 9-of-11 from the free throw line. He dished out four assists and had two steals as well.

While being just 5-foot-10, he pulled down five rebounds in both games.

The Dolphins return to the hardwood on Thursday as they face Kennesaw State on the road. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.