Defense leads JU past Samford, 60-49
Play Video
The JU men’s basketball team put on a defensive clinic en route to a 60-49 win over Samford at the Pete Hannah Center on Wednesday night.

JU (3-1) won its third straight by limiting Samford to just five 3-pointers, forcing 21 turnovers and holding the Bulldogs (3-3) to just 13-of-41 from the field

Russell Powell led the Dolphins with a career-high 15 points, while Ayron Hardy had his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our defensive pressure was the key for us tonight,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We did a great job of getting out on their shooters and didn’t allow them a lot of second chances.”

Jacksonville cashed in Samford’s 21 turnovers with 20 points and added 14 second chance points. Hardy had a pick impact in that, picking up five steals to go along with two blocks.

The Dolphins were able to win despite hitting just 17-of-30 from the free throw line, going 15-of-28 in the second half.

Sporting a one-point lead at halftime, JU opened the second half on an 11-2 run – capping it with a Travis Cohn 3-pointer to take a 37-27 lead with 14:35 left in the game.

Samford came back to cut the lead to three, 38-35, with 10:20 left, but the Dolphins came back with an 11-4 run and never allowed the Bulldogs to get it to one possession game the rest of the way.

For the game, Samford’s starters were held to 3-of-20 shooting and 0-for-11 from behind the 3-point arc. Kaylin Johnson led the Bulldogs with 15 points off the bench with Gregg Wooten adding 13.

Samford rallied from a 10-2 early deficit, but Shamile Jeffers’ tip in of a Tevin Galvin miss at the buzzer gave the Dolphins a 26-25 lead at halftime.

Travis Cohn added 10 points for JU, his second straight game in double figures.

The Dolphins are back in action again on Saturday as they travel to face Auburn. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST).