Rivalry week hits JU

Nov. 29, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - All the lights will be shining down on Jacksonville University on Friday night.

In a regionally televised contest on Comcast Sports Southeast, the Jacksonville men's basketball team opens Atlantic Sun Conference play against archrival North Florida. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The game tips off JU's 20-game grind through the A-Sun as the Dolphins get two conference games in before the Christmas break, heading south to face Florida Atlantic on Sunday.

The Dolphins (0-2) enter the week coming off a 91-78 loss to South Florida on Nov. 25. A 20-6 run by USF to start the game put the Dolphins in hole that they could not recover, but Jacksonville did show room for room improvement. JU hit more than 40 percent of its field goal attempts, hitting eight 3-pointers, as well as forcing 29 turnovers.

Jacksonville's offense was paced by senior point guard Jesse Kimbrough. Kimbrough tied his career high with 19 points and dished out a career-high 12 assists to become the first Dolphin in almost two years to record a double-double via points and assists.

JU also got 16 points from Aubrey Conerly and 10 points from Antonio Cool, who led the team with seven rebounds.

"We played well in spurts, but we've got learn to play for 40 minutes, not just a few minutes at a time," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We can't afford to take a possession off. We have to be playing at our best the entire 40 minutes for us to be successful."

With just two games under their belt, the Dolphins enter A-Sun play quickly by starting with two of their biggest rivals in North Florida and Florida Atlantic.

"When you get into conference play, every game is important," Warren said. "We want to be competitive in conference play and that begins this Friday against North Florida."

In the first A-Sun "Game of the Week" broadcast this year, the Dolphins face UNF for just the second time in school history. A year ago, JU came away with a 78-73 win at home. This year the stakes are higher as both teams are competing for the conference title.

After Friday's contest, Jacksonville gets on the bus to face Florida Atlantic on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Owls enter the week with an 0-2 record after losses to Colgate and Northwestern.

The Dolphins own a 12-6 lead in the all-time series with Owls.