Basketball Cruises Past Saint Leo In Opener, 85-55

Nov. 22, 2002

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior guards James Daniels (Port St. Joe, Fla.) and Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) scored 18 points apiece to lead four Dolphins in double figures as JU opened the season with an 85-55 win over Saint Leo Friday night at Swisher Gymnasium. It is the seventh-straight win for the Dolphins (1-0) in home openers dating back to the 1991-92 season.

Freshman Jarred Stockton (Jacksonville, Fla.) added 13 points in 17 minutes off the bench in his first action for the Dolphins, while senior center Jeff Howard (Dallas, Texas) scored a career-best 13 points, grabbed four boards and had three steals in a career-high 25 minutes off the bench. JU shot 54 percent for the game, including a blistering 62 percent in the first half and registered 22 assists on 30 buckets. The Dolphins tied a school record by connecting on 13 three-pointers. Sheppard went a perfect 7-for-7 from the field as he and Daniels combined to shoot 14-for-18 from the field, including 8-of-11 from outside the arc.

Defensively, JU limited the Lions (0-1) to just 33 percent shooting from the field, while forcing 22 turnovers and recording 16 steals. It was the most steals for the Dolphins since Feb. 6, 1999, when JU had 16 steals in a 72-51 win over Jacksonville State. Senior center Ryan Lewis (New Orleans, La.) failed to score, but grabbed four rebounds and had seven of JU's nine blocked shots.

The Dolphins jumped out to a 13-0 lead, as Saint Leo did not hit its first basket until the 14:05 mark of the first half. JU extended the lead to 26-2 at the 10:51 mark and led 47-19 at the break. Howard scored 12 first-half points to lead eight Dolphins in the scoring column. The JU lead never got below 21 in the second half.

Tabari Brown (Brunswick, Ga.) added nine points and eight rebounds for JU, while senior guard Chip White (Venice, Fla.) scored a career-best six points and grabbed three boards in a career-high 19 minutes off the bench.

The Dolphins will now play seven-straight road games, including five in the next eight days, starting with Cal State Northridge at the John Thompson Foundation Challenge on Sunday at 6 p.m. in Eugene, Ore.