Dolphins Downed By Samford In TAAC Quarterfinals, 44-41

March 1, 2001

AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - Derrick Jones hit two free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining and Kevin Sheppard was short on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer as Samford beat Jacksonville 44-41 Thursday night.

The victory sends Samford (15-13) into the Trans America Athletic Conference tournament semifinals against regular season champion Georgia State on Friday in Samford's quest for a third consecutive tournament crown.

Georgia State easily advanced with a 96-57 victory over Florida Atlantic in an earlier quarterfinal.

Chris Weaver, who led the Bulldogs with 14 points, had given Samford a 42-36 lead with 4:59 remaining, but Jacksonville (18-10) fought back on Shawn Platts' three free throws with 3:04 to play and a dunk by Kris Hunter with 1:32 remaining to cut the lead to 42-41.

When the Dolphins missed in the final half-minute, Samford secured the rebound and Jacksonville got to six fouls in the half by fouling twice without the clock running.

Weaver then was fouled with 20.5 seconds left, but missed the shot, with Brandon Williams grabbing the rebound. Williams then missed on a drive, with Jones getting the rebound, then the foul.

Platts led Jacksonville with 15 points.

The Dolphins had a 19-13 lead with 6:44 left in the first half, but went scoreless the rest of the way as Samford built a 26-19 lead with a 13-0 run that included three 3-pointers, two by Cornell Felton.

Tabari Brown's four layups enabled Jacksonville to tie it at 36 with 6:55 to play before Samford built it to 42-36 lead heading down the stretch.