Basketball's Late Rally Falls Short In 71-67 Loss To Mercer

Dec. 4, 2004

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore forward Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.) put together his best performance of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and five assists, but Mercer held off a furious JU rally to beat the Dolphins, 71-67, in Atlantic Sun Conference action Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium. Junior forward Antonio Cool (Chicago Heights, Ill.) had a team-high 18 points to lead JU (3-2, 1-1 A-Sun), which tried to erase a nine-point deficit in the final 1:18. Mercer (4-1, 2-0 A-Sun) out-rebounded the Dolphins by 12 and forced 20 turnovers for its third straight win.

With the Dolphins trailing 67-58 with 1:18 to play, Cool hit back-to-back three-pointers in 11 seconds to bring JU to within three. Mercer's Demitrius Coleman scored in transition against the Dolphin press to make it 69-64, but Quaintance hit a three to cut the deficit to 69-67 with 19 seconds remaining. Wesley Duke drained a pair of free throws to seal the game for the Bears.

The Dolphins fell behind by 15 early in the first half, but used a late run to pull within two at the break, 34-32. JU opened the second half on a 13-4 run to take a 45-38 lead at the 14:16 mark. Mercer answered with a 13-2 run and then extended its lead to as much as 11 with 4:50 to play. Will Emerson had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bears, who outscored JU 42-24 in the paint. The Dolphins limited Mercer to just 42 percent shooting, including 4-of-19 three-pointers, but the Bears had 17 offensive rebounds and scored 21 points off Dolphin turnovers.

JU had a season-best 18 assists and forced 20 turnovers. Quaintance and Joey Robinson (Oklahoma City, Okla.) each had three steals for the Dolphins. Robinson also scored 10 points and had a pair of blocks. JU shot 47 percent from the field, but hit just 8-of-24 three-pointers.

The Dolphins return to action on Saturday, Dec. 11 against Savannah State at 2 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium. It is the first of four consecutive non-conference contests for JU prior to the New Year.