Dolphins run away from Kennesaw State, 73-56

Jan. 10, 2008

Box Score

KENNESAW, Ga. - The road hasn't been kind to the JU men's basketball team this season.

That changed on Thursday night at the KSU Convocation Center as the Dolphins hit a season-high nine 3-pointers and used a stellar defensive effort to run away from Kennesaw State, 73-56.

The win snapped JU's seven-game road losing streak and gives the Dolphins a 3-0 start in Atlantic Sun Conference play - the best start since joining the league in 1998. It is just the third time in school history that JU has won its first three conference games.

"Our guys gave a great effort tonight in winning a big conference road game," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "Everyone on the team made a contribution to win this game."

Sophomore points guard Ben Smith had another stellar night, picking up his second career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists. Smith finished the night going 5-of-9 from the floor, with four 3-pointers.

Joining Smith in double figures was Lehmon Colbert, Ayron Hardy and Marcus Allen. Colbert had 13 points with six rebounds while Hardy had 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Allen had 10 points, all coming in the first half, to go along with five rebounds.

The win tied the largest margin of victory for the Dolphins on the road in an A-Sun game, tying a 17-point win at Lipscomb during the 2003-04 season.

The Dolphins also set season highs in field goal percentage (.569) and assists (23). It is the first time this season that JU has hit more than 50 percent of its shots in a game.

Jacksonville opened the second half with a 17-4 run to take a 53-34 lead with 11:53 left in regulation. The run was highlighted by Colbert slamming home a pass from Smith to push the lead to 13 and capped by Aric Brooks scoring five straight points, including a 3-pointer in transition.

JU never let the Owls get back into the game, pushing the lead to as many as 22 to cruise the rest of the way.

Kelvin McConnell led the Owls with 14 points while Ryan Daugherty had 10 off the bench.

The Dolphins had their best first half of the season in taking a 36-30 lead at the intermission. JU hit 15-of-26 from the floor for 57.7 percent, its best half of the year, going 5-of-7 from behind the arc.

The Dolphins wrap up their weekend Georgia swing on Saturday at Mercer. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.