FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2005
Basketball Clinches A-Sun Berth With 81-67 Win Over Georgia State
Feb. 25, 2005
ATLANTA - Sophomore forward Haminn Quaintance scored a career-best 29 points on 10-of-12 shooting, while the JU connected on a season-best 28-of-32 free throws in an 81-67 win over Georgia State Friday night at GSU Sports Arena. With the win, JU (15-11, 11-8 A-Sun) clinches a berth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship for the seventh straight season and ensures itself of a winning season for the first time since 2002-03. Five teams have qualified for the eight-team A-Sun Tourney with one game remaining in the regular season. The Dolphins, who have won 10 of their last 14 games, are one game back of first-place Gardner-Webb and UCF heading into the regular-season finale at Mercer on Sunday at 2 p.m.
"I'm just so happy for our guys," said JU head coach Hugh Durham, who moved within three wins of becoming the Dolphins' all-time winningest coach. "They have worked so hard to improve and put themselves in position to win such an important game."
Senior guard David Lee added 22 points and seven rebounds, while connecting on 10-of-10 free throws for the game. JU hit 22-of-23 from the stripe in the second half, including 14 straight the final 2:38. The Dolphins finished on a 26-12 run after Georgia State (13-14, 10-9) tied the game at 55-55 with 9:50 to play. Junior forward Antonio Cool chipped in a career-best nine rebounds as JU out-rebounded the Panthers, 44-37, including 28-18 in the second half. Junior guard Aubrey Conerly added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists off the bench.
JU limited the A-Sun's top three-point shooting team to just 34 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent (9-33) from outside the arc, while improving to 10-1 this season when holding opponents under 70 points. Quaintance, whose jumper with 3:08 to play gave the Dolphins a 67-60 lead and was JU's last field goal of the game, hit a career-best three treys and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Dolphins led 55-47 at the 11:20 mark of the second half, but Herman Favors hit a three to spark an 8-0 Georgia State run. Boyd Copeland, who led the Panthers with 16 points, hit a pair of free throws to make it 55-52, and then Favors tied the game with his fourth three-pointer of the contest. Quaintance answered with a three to give the Dolphins the lead for good. Malcom Manier added 15 points for the Panthers, who missed five of their last seven free throw attempts, while Favors scored 13. Sylvester Morgan had six blocks for Georgia State. JU committed just 13 turnovers and swept the season series over the Panthers for the first time since 1980.
The A-Sun Championship is March 3-5 at the Curb Event Center in Nashville. UCF, Gardner-Webb, Belmont and Lipscomb have all quailed along with the Dolphins.
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