Three Dolphins (6-1, 2-0) scored in double figures, led by Travis Cohn’s 16 points off the bench. Delwan Graham added 14 points off the bench as Jacksonville got 32 points from its bench. Ayron Hardy picked up his second double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Dolphins forced FGCU (2-5, 0-2 A-Sun) into 20 turnovers and held the Eagles to just 28.8 percent shooting from the floor (17-of-59). The Eagles hit just 3-of-20 from behind the arc and scored just 10 second chance points.
“Our defense did a good job of limiting their second chances and getting out on their shooters,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”
Sporting a six-point halftime lead, the Dolphins pushed the lead to 10, 36-26, in the opening three minutes after a Glenn Powell dunk.
The Eagles rallied to cut the deficit to three, 39-36, after a pair of Anthony Banks free throws with 12:24 left in the game.
Jacksonville pushed the lead to 12 via a 13-4 run, capping with a Tevin Galvin layup going coast-to-coast with 7:44 left in the game. The Eagles cut the lead to 10, but never got any closer.
Anthony Banks led the Eagles with a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. Marlon Rivera had 10 points as well.
After opening the game on an 18-2 run, JU saw the Eagles tie the game at 23 with on a pair of Hunter Miller free throws with 4:11 left. The Dolphins then used a 7-1 run over the final four minutes to take a 30-24 lead at the intermission.
Cohn finished the game with eight rebounds, as five Dolphins had at least four rebounds in the contest. Hardy added four assists, three blocks and on steal in his all-around effort.
Jacksonville opened its second straight A-Sun title defense with two straight wins, the third time in the last four years that the Dolphins are 2-0 in conference play.
The Dolphins will focus on academics this week with finals before hitting the road to face defending Big South champion Winthrop on Dec. 12. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
- JU has held the lead at halftime in all seven games this season.
- JU has held three of its last four opponents to less than 60 points. Stetson is the only one to breakthrough with 61 on Thursday.
- Hardy’s double-double is the third for a Dolphin this season and his second. It is the third of his career.
- Delwan Graham led the JU bench brigade with 14 points, by far his best offensive outing of the season.
- JU is 2-0 in A-Sun play for the third time in the last four seasons.