ETSU (12-7, 7-1 A-Sun) had four players finish in double figures with Micah Williams scoring a game-high 21 points.
The Bucs opened the game on a 20-6 run, starting with Williams hitting a 3-pointer on the opening possession and never trailed in the contest.
“ETSU is a good team and we gave them some good looks early that gave them some confidence,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We have to do a better job of focusing at the beginning of the game.”
The Bucs were the first team since Miami in the season opener to hit more than 50 percent from the floor, going 26-of-48, including 8-of-19 from behind the arc. Justin Tubbs hit four 3-pointers en route to 16 points while Williams had three.
Sporting a six-point halftime lead, the Dolphins (11-5, 5-2 A-Sun) cut the deficit to four, 41-37, less than three minutes into the second half thanks to a Travis Cohn 3-pointer.
The Bucs responded by scoring the next six points, capping the run with a Williams layup with 15:56 left in the game.
JU got the deficit back to seven, 58-51, on a layup by Delwan Graham with 8:26 left in regulation, but ETSU never let JU get any closer – eventually pushing the lead to 15 in the final minute.
Cohn led three Dolphins in double figures with 18 points, hitting a career-high four 3-pointers. Ayron Hardy had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Delwan Graham added 12 points and six rebounds.
Tevin Galvin led JU with nine rebounds off the bench.
Hardy hit a putback jumper to end the first half, capping a 13-6 run that cut a 13-point lead to six at the intermission, 39-33. The late run saved the Dolphins as ETSU opened the game on a 20-6 run in the first six and half minutes of the game.
ETSU got 11 points and six assists from Adam Sollazzo while Isiah Brown had 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Dolphins hit the road for their next three games, starting Thursday at Kennesaw State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
-Travis Cohn scored in double figures after two straight in single digits. He put a team-best 10 points in the first half and led JU in scoring for the third time this season…his 18 points is a new season high and ties his career high…his four 3-pointers breaks his previous career high of three, which he has hit five times.
- Ayron Hardy put up double digits for the second straight game and the fourth time in the last five games. Hardy had five assists, two steals and block in 36 minutes.
- Delwan Graham broke a four-game single-digit scoring streak with 12 points.
- The loss ends JU five-game winning streak at the Arena. ETSU was the last team to beat JU at the Arena with a 64-62 victory in the regular season finale last year. The Bucs have won six of the last seven meeting with JU.
- ETSU shot 54.2 percent from the floor, the best shooting night for a JU opponent this season. The Bucs are only the second team this season to hit 50 percent of their shots from the floor, with the other being Miami in the season opener.
- JU turned the ball over just nine times in the game, tying the season low for a game (set at Winthrop).