SATURDAY, JANUARY 05, 2002
Dolphins Nip Jacksonville State At Buzzer, 69-67
Jan. 5, 2002
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior forward Calvin Warner (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, but it was senior center Ali Kaba (Sanniquelle, Liberia) who hit a 10-foot jumper with 1.2 seconds remaining to give JU a hard-fought, 69-67 victory over Jacksonville State Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun action at Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins improve to 10-4 overall on the season and 4-1 in conference play, while improving to 6-0 at home for the first time since the 1973-74 season. JU, which was playing its first home game in nearly a month after seven straight road games, has won 12 straight games at home dating back to last season.
After falling behind 62-46 with 7:47 to play in the game, the Gamecocks (3-6, 2-4 A-sun) used a 17-0 run to take a 63-62 lead with 2:45 to play. JU regained the lead, 65-63, following a free throw from Warner and a pair of free throws from Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), but Poonie Richardson scored on a slicing drive to the basket to tie the game at 65 with 2:02 to play. Warner answered with a 12-footer to give the Dolphins a 67-65 lead, but Omar Barlett got the rebound off a Scott Watson missed three-pointer and laid it in to tie the game at 67 with 3.2 seconds to play. Following a timeout, JU attempted a lob pass to Warner but it was deflected into Kaba's hands and he banked in the jumper for the win.
Travis Robinson (Gastonia, N.C.) added 14 points on four three-pointers off the bench for JU, while Sheppard scored 10 and grabbed four boards. Kaba finished with three points and five rebounds in a season-high 25 minutes of action. The Dolphins improved to 10-1 on the season when holding their opponent to 70 points or less, despite hitting just two field goals in the final 7:47. The Dolphins forced the Gamecocks into 19 turnovers and out-rebounded JSU, 38-36. Warner has now grabbed 32 rebounds in the last two games.
Barlett led the Gamecocks with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Jay Heard had 15 points and 10 boards. Emerson Brown and Richardson also scored in double figures for JSU with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Gamecocks shot 52 percent in the second half to erase a 10-point halftime deficit, while converting 19 JU turnovers into 23 points.
JU jumped out to a 29-14 lead behind 10 first-half points from Warner and eight from Robinson, but Jacksonville State closed the half on a 10-5 run and trailed 34-24 at the break.
The Dolphins return to action on Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Samford at Swisher Gymnasium.
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