BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Jacksonville University men’s basketball team struggled to find the range in the early going against Florida Atlantic on Saturday afternoon, not hitting a field goal in the first four minutes. By the time Tyler Alderman backed down and scored in the paint, FAU was on top 14-3 and the Owls never trailed as they extended the lead throughout the contest. FAU improved to 3-6 on the year while Jacksonville dropped to 3-5 with the 83-63 decision.
With FAU on top, 2-1, just a minute into the game, the Owls began a 12-0 run punctuated by a three-ball and an old-fashioned three-point play from Marquan Botley. Alderman then stemmed the tide with his bucket and Jarvis Haywood followed with a three-point play of his own, cutting the lead to 14-6 at the 14-minute mark. That proved to be as close as Jacksonville would get the rest of the way. FAU countered with a 7-0 run that opened up a 21-6 lead, and even the tough finishing of Haywood throughout the rest of the half could only keep the Dolphins within 16, 42-26. Haywood finished the first half with 11 points, all four of his field goals coming in the paint.
Owls’ leading scorer Pablo Bertone was 0-of-8 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but soon began to assert himself into the FAU offense. The senior guard would end with a game-high 20 points, 13 of them coming in the second half. A Bertone layup gave FAU its largest lead of the game, 60-34, with just over 13 minutes remaining.
Pushing the ball upcourt, Kordario Fleming scored inside and that was followed by a steal and score from Vince Martin to eat into the lead slightly. Jacksonville cut the lead down to 20 on four occasions the rest of the way, but could get no closer as FAU’s offense continued to click. The Owls ended the contest shooting 29-of-55 (.527) from the field.
Haywood led the Dolphins on the afternoon with 19 points. Keith McDougald added nine points, five rebounds and three assists. Martin had a game-high six assists while Fleming secured a team-high seven boards.
Jacksonville has its final exams this week and won’t play again until Dec. 17 when the Dolphins travel to Orlando to face the UCF Knights at 7 p.m. JU returns home on Dec. 20 with another 7 p.m. date, this time against the Samford Bulldogs at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
- Jacksonville was outrebounded for the sixth consecutive game and the seventh time in eight outings this season.
- All five Jacksonville losses this season have come when the team has trailed at halftime. The Dolphins are a perfect 3-0 in games they’ve led at the break.
- Jacksonville opponents are averaging 87.4 points per game in five wins against the Dolphins this season. JU is giving up only 73.0 ppg in its three victories.
- Jarvis Haywood led the Dolphins with 19 points on the afternoon. It’s his fourth time leading JU in scoring on the season and the fourth time that a Dolphin has scored 19 points in a game.
- Haywood has scored in double-figures in all six games he’s played this season, and reached that mark for the 24th time in his career. He needs only 48 more points to reach 500 in his Jacksonville career.
- Vince Martin is third in the league in assists with 4.8 per game, but has been distributing them at an even higher rate in the last five JU contests. The grad student point guard has had at least six assists in four of the last five games, and is averaging 5.4 per game over that stretch.
- Keith McDougald continues to climb nearer and nearer to the 1,000-point mark in his Jacksonville career. The senior guard sits at 916 following Saturday’s game, needing 84 more to reach the milestone.