Hot-Shooting Bisons Topple Men’s Basketball, 88-76
Javon Dawson (Photo Courtesy of Skip Tapp)
Javon Dawson (Photo Courtesy of Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A second half performance in which Lipscomb shot 78 percent from the floor was the winning formula on the night, as the visiting Bisons downed the Jacksonville University men’s basketball team, 88-76. JU’s deficit was only one at halftime, but Lipscomb (9-12, 4-6 Atlantic Sun) was on fire after that and put the game away with a barrage following the intermission. The Dolphins fall to 8-13 and 4-6 in the A-Sun.

It was a sloppy start for both teams in the opening minutes, with some erratic dribbling and passing leading to a slow beginning for two high-powered offenses. Still, when Jarvis Haywood hit one of two at the line and then pulled up from 18 feet to drain a jumper, Jacksonville led 7-3 more than five minutes in. Just a few minutes later, RJ Slawson brought the crowd to life with a massive put-back slam of a Marcel White shot. A Keith McDougald coast-to-coast layup on the next possession made it 12-8 and required a timeout from Lipscomb as the Bisons tried to slow the Dolphins down.

That strategy proved effective as the Bisons came out of the break in action with a 12-2 run started by a J.C. Hampton triple and ended by a trey from Khion Sankey to make it 20-14 in favor of the visitors. Lipscomb would grow the lead to seven in the first half, but Jacksonville came back to score the final five points going into the locker room. A change of possession in the dying moments of the opening period saw the ball land in the hands of Haywood and he drained a contested three-pointer right at the horn to bring the Dolphins to within one, 35-34, at the half.

Lipscomb looked to blow the game wide open early on in the second half, storming out with a 10-0 run to take a 45-34 advantage. Vince Martin refused to go quietly however, showing off his offensive capabilities with a personal 7-0 run in less than 40 seconds to pull Jacksonville back within four. Needing a stop to climb back into the game, the Dolphins just couldn’t find a way to make the Bisons miss. Lipscomb hit all five field goals it attempted as part of a 13-2 spurt that put the team in front 58-43 after a Martin Smith trifecta with less than 12 minutes to play.

With the clock working against them, the Dolphins relied on increased defensive pressure to bring themselves to within seven with seven minutes remaining, but that would be as close as the team could get down the stretch. With Lipscomb connecting on 18-of-23 field goals in the second half, its edge grew to as much as 18 in the final minutes before Jacksonville could close the gap late.

McDougald had 20 points to lead the Dolphin offense on the night. Slawson came up with 11 points and 11 rebounds – eight of them on the offensive glass. J.R. Holder came off the bench for nine points and a career-high three assists.

Jacksonville concludes the weekend against the Northern Kentucky Norse on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The women’s game between the Dolphins and USC Upstate precedes the game with tip-off at 1 p.m.

Game Notes
- For the 10th time in his career, Keith McDougald scored 20 points or more.

- The senior guard now has 1,086 career points, moving past Harold Fox (1971-72) into 25th place among JU’s all-time scoring leaders. He needs six points to surpass Curtis Taylor (1,091 points from 1987-90) and eight points to top Micah Ross (1,093 points from 1995-98) and move to 23rd all-time.

- Jacksonville matched a season high with 17 offensive rebounds, previously set against Florida College and Florida A&M in November.

- RJ Slawson had his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. His other double-double came in JU’s blowout win over Florida College in which he had 13 points and 11 boards. In the previous meeting with Lipscomb this season, Slawson came up just one rebound shy of a double-double after scoring 16 points and nabbing nine rebounds.

- J.R. Holder set career-highs with three assists and 30 minutes played.

- Marcel White matched a season/career high with two steals.

- Jeremy Bogus and Sam Hunt made the most of their seven minutes off the bench. Bogus hadn’t scored a point since JU’s final non-conference game against South Carolina State but had five points. Hunt had only scored from the charity stripe since hitting a three-pointer at Northern Kentucky, but had four points and a steal.

- For the first time this season, Jarvis Haywood was held to a single-digit scoring night with eight points. The sophomore still leads the league in scoring at 17.3 points a game, 0.8 points ahead of Torrey Craig of USC Upstate.