Men's basketball falls at Georgia Southern, 81-67

Dec. 14, 2005

Final Stats

STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern used two big runs and some sharp shooting from Elton Nesbitt to take an 81-67 win over the Jacksonville men's basketball team Wednesday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Elton Nesbitt led the Eagles (6-4) with a game-high 26 points, hitting six of Georgia Southern's nine 3-pointers.

Jacksonville (1-5) dropped its third straight, but not without four players scoring in double figures. Freshman Marcus Allen led the Dolphins with his second straight double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Aubrey Conerly added 13 points and dished out 10 assists for his second career double-double. Mario Brown's 12 points tied his career high with Antonio Cool adding 11 points.

"We had good effort in spurts tonight," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We've just got to find a way to play well early and not turn the ball over. We can't afford to take a possession off at any time."

JU turned the ball over a season-high 29 times with the Eagles converting those into 30 points. Georgia Southern also took advantage of the Dolphins in transition, scoring 27 fast break points.

On the bright side, Jacksonville racked up 24 points off the bench and 40 points in the paint and outscored the Eagles in both categories. The Dolphins also held a sizeable 46-40 advantage on the boards.

The Dolphins opened the game slowly again, allowing Georgia Southern to jump out to a 9-0 lead.

After its wake-up call, Jacksonville got rolling by going on a 12-3 run to tie the game at 12.

That would be as close as the Dolphins got to the lead again.

Georgia Southern slowly reopened the lead, holding a four point lead with just under four minutes left in the first half.

But the Eagles closed the first half with a lot of momentum, going on a 12-5 run to take a 40-29 lead at the intermission.

Jacksonville cut the lead to seven quickly in the second half, but the Eagles put the throttle down again. Georgia Southern went on a 14-3 run over a five minutes stretch to take its largest lead of the night, 56-38, with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.

The Dolphins made one last run, cutting the lead to 11, but Georgia Southern wasn't about to let the lead slip away as they held on for the 81-67 win.

The Dolphins get no rest for the weary as they travel to Gainesville to face #6 Florida on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on Sun Sports.

NOTES: Dolphins got off to a slow start for the sixth straight game, falling behind 9-0 before tying the game at 12. Bryan Hipsher got his first career start at JU in place of Jesse Kimbrough. Ljubisa Vrcelj scored his first points of the season, making a layup with 8:01 left in the first half. Allen and Conerly have scored in double figures in three straight games.