Men's hoops falls at home to Georgia State, 65-60

Nov. 28, 2007

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Scoring has been the forte for the JU men's basketball team in its four games of the season.

But the Dolphins potent offense was short circuited on Wednesday as Georgia State held JU to its lowest scoring output thus far to come away with a 65-60 win at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Jacksonville (3-2) saw its three-game home winning streak snapped and Georgia State became just the second team to win on the Dolphins home court in the past two seasons.

"We struggled at times and didn't do a good job of getting good shots," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "It's a tough loss, but you have to give credit to Georgia State. They did the things they had to do to win."

The Panthers (2-3) won their second straight behind Leonard Mendez's 23 points. The guard hit 9-of-18 from the floor, including four 3-pointers. He was the only Panther in double figures, but all 10 Panthers that played scored at least two points.

Georgia State also took advantage of JU's 18 turnovers, cashing them in for 21 points and scored 15 points in transition.

Jacksonville had a trio of players in double figures, led by Lehmon Colbert's 17. Ben Smith added 13 and Marcus Allen had 12 with a team-best seven rebounds.

The Dolphins hit just 9-of-30 from the floor in the second half, but did a good enough job on defense to stay in the game into the final minute.

After JU erased what once was six-point lead early in the second half, Georgia State answered with a 13-2 run that gave the Panthers a 57-46 lead six minutes left in the game.

But the Dolphins weren't going away quietly; answering with a 14-4 run that was capped by Allen's layup with 25 second left to cut the Panthers' lead to one, 61-60.

The run was highlighted by Colbert driving the baseline after a steal by Smith for a dunk to cut the lead to three.

Rashad Chase hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to put the Panthers up by three, 63-60. Smith came down and attempted to tie the game from the top of the key, but came up short and the Panthers hit 2-of-4 in the final 15 seconds to seal the win.

Georgia State went into the locker room at halftime sporting a 34-31 lead after hitting 16-of-32 from the floor in the first half. For the game, the Panthers hit half of their shots, going 26-for-52.

The Dolphins weren't as lucky, hitting just 21-of-56 from the floor, including 5-of-18 from 3-point land.

Jacksonville hits the road for its toughest week of the season, playing four games in eight days against three NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including half of last year's Final Four. The daunting stretch begins on Saturday at Michigan State, with the game televised on the Big Ten Network for a 7 p.m. tipoff.