Jacksonville Eliminated From A-Sun Tournament By USC Upstate
Russell Powell matched a JU record with his 127 career game played (photo by Jason McDonald)
Russell Powell matched a JU record with his 127 career game played (photo by Jason McDonald)
Dolphins can’t overcome hot shooting Spartans

MACON, Ga. – The Jacksonville men’s basketball team was knocked out of the Atlantic Sun Tournament with a 76-62 loss to USC Upstate in a quarterfinal match-up on Thursday night in Hawkins Arena.

Freshman Jarvis Haywood (Charlotte, N.C.) led JU (14-18) with 16 points while senior Glenn Powell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) closed out his Dolphins career with 13 points and six rebounds.

“I’m very proud of our team and their efforts this entire season,” said JU Head Coach Cliff Warren. “Tonight we didn’t play Jacksonville basketball. Give them (USC Upstate) credit they won the game.”

Upstate (16-16) used a 17-5 run to open up a 15-point lead in the first half. A three-pointer by Haywood and a pair of baskets from junior Javon Dawson (Cordele, Ga.) helped the Dolphins trim the margin back down to 10 at the break. The 10-point deficit was due in large part to a 13-3 advantage the Spartans held in points off turnovers.

“The live ball turnovers we had were uncharacteristic of us and allowed them to get a number of easy transition baskets before we could get our defense set,” said Warren.

Upstate kept the pressure on in the second half as the Spartans opened up a 25-point lead midway through the period.

“They sped us up and then capitalized when we turned the ball over so it was hard for us to get into a flow,” said Warren.

JU started to right the ship with eight minutes to go when Haywood scored five straight points to help spark an 8-0 run. The rally would end there however as the Dolphins would get as close as 14 in the last two minutes before the final buzzer sounded. Upstate finished the game shooting 53 percent and held with a 26-3 edge in points off turnovers.

Dawson was also in double figures with 11 points while sophomore Evin Graham (Fort Myers, Fla.) had a team best seven rebounds.

Senior Russell Powell (Newnan, Ga.) handed out four assists while tying the JU record for the most games played at 127. Powell now shares the mark with Ayron Hardy and Travis Cohn.