MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2002
First-Place Samford Holds Off Late JU Rally For 65-58 Win

Jan. 7, 2002

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior guard Travis Robinson (Gastonia, N.C.) came off the bench to score 18 points in just 11 minutes, but it wasn't enough to overcome a huge second-half deficit as Samford thwarted a late JU rally and hung on for a 65-58 win over the Dolphins in Atlantic Sun action Monday night at Swisher Gymnasium. With the loss, JU falls to 10-5 overall, 4-2 in the A-Sun, while ending a 12-game home winning streak dating back to last season.

Phillip Ramelli led three Bulldogs in double figures with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting as Samford (9-6, 6-1 A-Sun) maintained its position atop the Atlantic Sun Conference. Chris Weaver added 13 and Eddie Harper 11 as the Bulldogs shot 57 percent from the field and hit 7-of-15 three-pointers. Samford also handed out 16 assists on 24 baskets and committed just eight turnovers.

Calvin Warner (Jacksonville, Fla.) added nine points and nine rebounds for JU, which trailed by as many as 22 before staging a furious comeback in the final three minutes. Samford extended its 35-22 halftime lead with a 13-4 run to start the second half and led 48-26 with 12:18 to play. JU cut the lead to 12 on an Antwan Robertson (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) jumper with 3:27 to play, but Samford answered with a three from Corey Green to push the lead back to 56-41. Robinson followed with three consecutive threes and the Bulldogs missed three straight free throws to get the Dolphins within six, 56-50, with 1:10 to play. JU could get no closer despite three-pointers from Robinson and Warner in the final minute as Samford connected on 9-of-10 from the line in the final 1:03.

Samford extended a three-point first-half lead to 13 with a 13-3 run over the final 3:46 of the half. Harper hit a backdoor layup and Will Gardner drilled a three to give the Bulldogs a 27-19 lead. Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) answered with a trey for JU, but Harper and Ramelli hit back-to-back three-pointers and Ramelli ended the half with a thunderous dunk for the 13-point halftime advantage.

Sheppard added seven points, four rebounds and five assists for the Dolphins, who out-rebounded Samford, 33-19.

JU returns to action on Thursday as the Dolphins take on Campbell at 7:30 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C., before playing at Georgia State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on A-Sun T.V.