Men's hoops surges past Gardner-Webb, 73-64

Jan. 2, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville men's basketball team continued its winning ways at home, rallying in the final four minutes for a 73-64 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play on Tuesday night over Gardner-Webb.

The Dolphins (5-8, 1-2 A-Sun) out scored the Bulldogs 12-2 in the final minutes, led by their two most experienced players - Marcus Allen and Jesse Kimbrough - to win their fifth straight at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Allen hit the clutch 3-pointer that gave JU a four-point lead and Kimbrough was a rock at the free throw line, hitting all four of his attempts on his way to six points in the final moments to lead the way.

"The final four minutes really showed how well we can play when we execute," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "I thought we showed a lot of energy in the second half in not giving them open looks from 3-point range as we did in the first half. A lot of guys created plays in getting rebounds and it showed as we had four players with at least six rebounds each."

Kimbrough led the Dolphins with an all-around effort with 14 points, five assists and six rebounds. Allen finished with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Corey Claitt and Evan Jefferson both finished in double figures with 10 points apiece.

JU was fortunate to survive the 3-point assault by the Bulldogs (2-10, 0-1 A-Sun), who hit 12 3-pointers in the game, with eight coming in the first half. Chris Gash had a game-high 17 points and five assists, hitting five 3-pointers in the game.

With the game tied at 35 heading into the halftime break, JU opened the second half by scoring six of the first eight points to take a 43-37 lead less than four minutes into the final frame.

After the Bulldogs cut the lead to one on Jake Sims' 3-pointer, the Dolphins scored nine straight points to take a 10-point lead, 60-50, with just eight minutes to go.

But Gardner-Webb had one run left in them, going on a 12-1 run, capped off by a Auryn MacMillan jumper that set up the Dolphins final run to victory.

Sims finished the game with 14 points and six boards for Gardner-Webb while Ricky McPhee added 11.

The win for JU snaps a 21-game losing streak in conference play, the longest streak in school history. The Dolphins last win came against North Florida on Dec. 2, 2005.

JU returns to action on Thursday against Campbell in the second half of a doubleheader with the JU women. The men's game is scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m.