THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2003
Basketball Downs Second-Place UCF, 80-75

Feb. 13, 2003

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - - Senior point guard Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) scored a game-high 23 points to lead five Dolphins in double figures as JU downed second-place UCF, 80-75, Thursday night in Atlantic Sun action at Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins improve to 11-12 overall, 6-5 in the A-Sun with their seventh win in the last 10 games. UCF falls to 17-8 overall, 9-3 in league play. JU will host Florida Atlantic on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium in head coach Hugh Durham's 1,000th career game.

Sheppard tied a career high with five three-pointers and hit 6-of-6 from the line, while playing all 40 minutes. Calvin Warner (Jacksonville/Sandalwood) added 14 points and a season-best 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, while James Daniels (Port St. Joe, Fla.) scored 13 and senior center Tabari Brown (Brunswick, Ga.) scored 11. Senior forward Nolan McBride (Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench to spark JU with 12 points as the Dolphins hit nine three-pointers and 25-of-31 free throws, including 9-of-10 from the line in the final five minutes.

Roberto Morentin led five Golden Knights in double figures with 17 points. Dexter Lyons added 14 and Josh Bodden scored 13 off the bench, but UCF hit just 5-of-17 from outside the arc, including 1-of-8 in the second half. Golden Knights' point guard Ray Abellard was held to just 11 points on 2-of-11 shooting and turned the ball over five times. JU forced 16 turnovers, which led to 14 Dolphin points, and outrebounded UCF, 34-32.

With the Dolphins clinging to a 70-68 lead with 2:41 to play, Sheppard drilled his fifth three from deep in the corner and the Dolphins connected on seven-straight free throws to ice the victory. The Dolphins held a 44-35 halftime lead and led by as much as 13 early in the second half, but UCF went on an 8-0 run to pull within 50-45 with 14:59 to play. JU twice pushed the lead back to 11 and led 62-51 at the 10:00 mark, but the Golden Knights closed the gap to 64-61 with 5:43 remaining.

JU jumped out to a 26-10 lead and led 37-21 thanks to 16 first-half points from Sheppard, including four of the Dolphins' seven first-half treys. However, Lyons and Bodden combined to score 12 of the next 14 points for UCF as the Golden Knights outscored JU, 14-7, over the final 4:16 of the first half.