SATURDAY, JANUARY 04, 2003
Dolphins Drop Heartbreaker at Buzzer To Troy State In A-Sun Opener, 70-68
Jan. 4, 2003
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Troy State guard Ben Fletcher hit a 10-foot put-back jumper at the buzzer to cap a 25-point comeback and propel the Trojans to a 70-68 win over Jacksonville in the conference opener for both Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium. Troy State won for the first time in six tries in Jacksonville to improve to 10-3 on the season, 1-0 in league play. JU (4-8, 0-1 A-Sun) lost for the seventh time in the last eight games.
Troy State used a 16-1 run midway through the second half to take its biggest lead of the game, 68-62, with 1:43 to play. Calvin Warner (Jacksonville/Sandalwood) answered for JU with back-to-back baskets in the lane, including a put-back tip with 47 seconds to play to cut the Trojan lead to 68-66. Following a missed free throw by Marcus Millhouse on the front end of a one-and-one, senior forward Antwan Robertson (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) took the ball the length of the court and tied the game at 68 with a running four-foot floater with 29 seconds to play. Troy State held for one shot, a missed three-pointer by Lacedrick Pettway from the corner, but Fletcher caught the carom in the air and released it in one motion just prior to the final buzzer.
Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) led all scorers with 21 points and a game-high eight assists. Warner added 18 points and seven boards for the Dolphins, who shot 56 percent in the first half but hit just 8-of-28 shots in the second half. Center Rob Lewin finished with 19 points and 11 boards for Troy State, which hit just 4-of-25 three-pointers, but scored 20 second-chance points off 23 offensive rebounds. The Trojans out-rebounded JU, 49-34, for the game. Fletcher added 13 points and Millhouse finished with 17 points and seven boards.
The Dolphins built a 46-21 first-half lead behind 17 points from Sheppard and 17 points off 14 Troy State turnovers. The Trojans closed the half on a 9-2 run and trailed 48-30 at the break. Troy State opened the second half on a 9-1 run to cut the JU lead to 48-39 at the 17:50 mark. Lewin hit three quick buckets in the lane and Millhouse drilled a three to cut the deficit to nine. JU pushed the lead back to 13 on a pair of free throws and a coast-to-coast lay-up from Sheppard, and led 52-39 with 16:28 to play.
JU returns to action with an Atlantic Sun contest against Mercer on Monday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.
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