Dolphins fall to South Carolina, 80-73

Dec. 29, 2006

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. - One run late in the first half was the difference as the JU men's basketball team wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 80-73 loss at South Carolina on Friday night.

The Gamecocks (9-2) used a 14-0 run over six minutes late in the first half to turn a one-point lead into 15. JU cut the lead to14 at the half and had the lead down to six late in the second half, but couldn't finish off the come back.

USC had five players in double figures, led by Tre' Kelly's 20 points - with 14 of those coming in the first half. Brandon Wallace added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Gamecocks.

JU (4-8) got 15 points from Jesse Kimbrough as he led four Dolphins in double figures. The Dolphins bright spot was 29 points off the bench, with Evan Jefferson getting 12 and Tyrone Curnell getting 11.

"We played with a lot of effort, but we turned the ball over and gave them too many easy baskets," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We're young and learning, but we've got a lot work to do as we start conference play this upcoming week."

The Gamecocks forced JU into 22 turnovers and were able to convert them into 22 points. South Carolina, averaging just 10 turnovers a game, had 17 with the Dolphins converting those into 15 points.

JU hit a season-high eight 3-pointers, with seven coming in the second half as the Dolphins out scored USC, 48-41. To top it off, the Dolphins held a 32-31 advantage on the boards.

After giving up the first six points of the game, JU battled back to take an 8-6 lead. The two teams went back and forth, with South Carolina holding just a 19-18 lead with 8:31 left in the half.

Over the next six minutes, the Gamecocks scored 14 straight points - 11 of those by Kelley - that was the difference as USC held a 39-25 halftime lead.

In the second half, JU put together a spirited comeback, cutting what once was 18-point lead down to six with just a minute remaining. The Dolphins held South Carolina scoreless for more than five minutes, allowing JU to claw back into the game.

But the Gamecocks were able to hit some free throws late in the game to ice the win, going 4-of-6 from the stripe.

Ben Smith was the only other Dolphin in double figures, getting 12 points. Marcus Allen led JU with seven rebounds but scored just two points.

The other Gamecocks in double figures were Dominique Archie with 12 and Bryce Sheldon and Dwayne Day with 10 apiece.

JU returns to action at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Tuesday against Gardner-Webb. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.