SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2005
Basketball Shoots Lights Out To Hold Off Late Belmont Rally, 93-89

Feb. 5, 2005

Box Score

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Senior shooting guard David Lee (Columbus, Ga.) came off the bench to score a season-high 24 points, including 18 in the second half, as JU scored a season-high 93 points and withstood a furious Belmont rally to hang on for a 93-89 win over the Bruins Saturday night at the Curb Event Center. It's the eighth win in the last 10 games for the Dolphins, who improve to 13-8 overall, 9-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference and move into sole possession of second place in the league standings, just a half-game back of Gardner-Webb with five games remaining.

JU also matched its win total of each of the last two seasons with its first win at Belmont (9-13, 8-6 A-Sun) in four tries. It's the highest the Dolphins have been in the A-Sun standings at this point in the season since Feb. 10, 2001, when JU was in a three-way tie for second with Samford and Stetson.

Lee, who was playing in just his second game since missing three contests with a groin injury, nailed 11-of-14 free throws, while also grabbing five rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Junior forward Antonio Cool (Chicago Heights, Ill.) added 16 of his 18 points in the second half, while junior point guard Aubrey Conerly (Calumet, Ill) came off the bench to score 13 points, while also handing out a season-best eight assists and recording four steals.

JU shot a season-best 60.4 percent from the field, including an astounding 71.4 percent (15-21) in the second half when the Dolphins scored a season-high 53 points. The Dolphins also connected on a season-best 28-of-39 free throws to negate 15 three-pointers by Belmont, including four in the final five minutes. Sophomore forward Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.) added 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the Dolphins to pass James Ray for third place all-time at JU with 135 career blocks in just 49 games.

The Dolphins used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to build a 66-53 lead with 8:55 to play. After trading baskets with Belmont, JU had its largest lead at 75-61 at the 5:38 mark. Belmont got to within two at 91-89 with eight seconds remaining before Conerly iced the game with a pair of free throws. The Dolphins hit 16-of-22 free throws in the final five minutes, including 9-of-14 from the stripe in the final two minutes of the contest.

Despite falling behind 9-0 to start the game, JU led 40-36 at the half. Justin Hare led four Bruins in the double figures with 21 points, while Josh Goodwin scored 20 and Jese Snyder scored 17.

JU returns to action with its final two home games of the season beginning on Thursday against Florida Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.