Dolphins rumble past Ospreys, 75-61

Feb. 3, 2007

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Leading by three with five minutes to go, the Jacksonville men's basketball team was looking for some defense.

They found it in spades as the Dolphins finished the game on a 17-6 run over the final 5:48 to pick up a 75-61 win over North Florida to sweep the season series in the SunTrust River City Rumble at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

The crowd of 4,196 saw five Dolphins score in double figures, led by Lehmon Colbert's 12. Tyrone Curnell picked up the first double-double of his career, getting 11 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Jacksonville's win gives the Dolphins (11-11, 7-5 A-Sun) four wins in the last five games.

"Our defense stepped up and made some plays down the stretch," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We're getting better each game, but we didn't execute as well as we needed to throughout the game."

JU owned the glass, holding a 42-27 edge in rebounding - with four Dolphins picking up at least five rebounds.

Joining Colbert and Curnell in double figures was Corey Claitt, Jesse Kimbrough and Ben Smith. Claitt and Kimbrough had 11 apiece, with Kimbrough dishing out six assists. Smith had 10 points to go with four assists and four steals.

"We did a good job of getting on the glass and being attacking the basket," Warren said.

After trailing by five at the half, the Ospreys (2-21, 0-12 A-Sun) opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers by Chris Timberlake to take a 42-41 lead just 90 seconds into the final frame.

Trailing 47-45 with 16:26 left, the Dolphins rallied to take a four-point lead over the next six minutes - with the JU freshmen stepping up to score seven points during that stretch to take a 54-40 lead with just 10 minutes left in the game.

The Dolphins kept the pressure on UNF, pushing the lead to 11 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Corey Claitt and Jesse Kimbrough to take a 66-55 lead with 4:09 remaining.

The final 3-pointer by Kimbrough was the dagger as JU was able to cruise from there - extending the lead to 16 at one point before the final margin of 75-61.

UNF got 18 points from Aaron Caruthers and Chris Timberlake and 13 from James Grimball.

The Dolphins shot 56 percent from the floor in the first half and withstood a late run by UNF to take a 41-36 lead into the locker room at intermission.

JU is back in action at home on Thursday as they face Atlantic Sun Conference leader East Tennessee State at the Veterans Memorial Arena at 7 p.m.