Dolphins Take Undefeated Record On Road For First Time

Nov. 29, 2001


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Jacksonville at UCF
November 29, 2001 7:30 p.m.
UCF Arena (5,100) Orlando, Fla.

On the Air: ESPN 600 (Cole Pepper, play-by-play)
The Dolphin pre-game show begins at 7:15 p.m.
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Series Record: JU Leads 7-4

Last Meeting: JU defeated UCF, 74-65, Jan. 29, 2001 in Jacksonville

Jacksonville University (3-0, 1-0 A-Sun)
The Dolphins are off to a 3-0 start, including a 1-0 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play, following a 58-37 win over Belmont in the conference opener. JU, which started last season 7-0, is playing its second of three conference games in an eight-day period and its first road game of the season. JU is 3-0 at home this season after going 12-2 at Swisher Gymnasium last year.

The Dolphins are dominating opponents on the defensive end allowing just 54.0 points per game, while limiting opponents to just 34 percent shooting, including 16 percent from outside the arc. JU has gotten good interior defensive play from Calvin Warner and Ryan Lewis, who have combined for 7.3 blocks per game. The Dolphins also hold a +10.3 rebounding edge over their opponents, including great play from the point guards, which have combined for 21 rebounds in the last two contests.

Kevin Sheppard has been JU's most consistent player with a team-best 16.3 points per game to go along with 6.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 assists per contest, while hitting 14-of-15 from the free throw line. As a team, JU is shooting 70 percent from the line, something the Dolphins did not manage to do all of last season on average.

UCF (2-1, 0-0 A-Sun)
UCF enters today's game 2- 1on the season following an 82-72 win at East Carolina last Saturday. Sophomore guard Brian Graham paced the Golden Knights with 20 points and five boards, while junior guard Ray Abbelard added 13 and Joey Graham and Paul Reed each scored 10. UCF shot 61 percent from the field for the game, including 65 percent (13-20) in the second half.

Abbelard leads three Golden Knights in double figures for the season with 13.0 points per game, followed by Stephen Graham's 12.7 ppg and Reed's 11.0 ppg. Reed is also averaging 11.0 rebounds per contest. UCF is shooting 49 percent from the floor as a team and 37 percent from three-point range.

Kirk Speraw is in his ninth season as head coach at UCF with an overall record of 110-126 (.466). He has led the Golden Knights to two NCAA Tournament appearances (1994, 1996) and two Atlantic Sun Tournament championships (1994, 1996). Prior to UCF, Speraw was the head coach at Pensacola Junior College for three seasons (1987-90), where he was named 1990 NABC/Kodak National Junior College Coach of the Year.