Dolphins survive in overtime over UNF, 76-70

Feb. 15, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ben Smith scored 13 of JU's 18 points in overtime to lead the Dolphins back from a four-point deficit to beat UNF on Friday night in the SunTrust River City Rumble, 76-70, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Smith finished the game with a game-high 25 points, going 6-of-14 from the floor, including four 3- pointers to go along with two assists.

He led three Dolphins (13-11, 9-3 A-Sun) in double figures, joined by freshmen Szymon Lukasiak with 12 and Travis Cohn 11.

The Dolphins led by eight, 58-50, with 4:24 remaining. The Ospreys scored the last eight points in regulation and the first in overtime before Smith's heroics.

"Ben stepped up and made some plays for us when we needed it tonight," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We got away from attacking in the final few minuets and UNF made us pay. We got back to attacking in the overtime and that was what guided us to the win."

UNF (2-23, 0-12 A-Sun) had four players finish in double figures, with Germaine Sparkes leading the way with 15. Stan Januska had 14, with Cortez Riley adding 11 and Tom Hammonds chipping in with 10.

Trailing by eight, the Ospreys scored the final eight points of regulation to force overtime. Riley drove through the Dolphin defense for the game tying layup with 2.3 seconds remaining.

North Florida came storming out in the overtime, scoring the first four points of the extra session. Hammonds nailed a pair of free throws to cap the 12-0 run as the Ospreys sported a 62-58 lead with 3:27 left in the game.

But Smith put the Dolphins on his back, hitting 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to turn the deficit into two-point lead, 64-62. Smith kept the scoring going, getting JU's first 12 points of the extra session to spark a 13-2 run that gave the Dolphins a 71-64 lead with 34 seconds remaining.

The Ospreys would not go away, cutting the deficit to two with 11 seconds to go on a 30-foot 3- pointer by Riley. Smith hit a pair of free throws and Lehmon Colbert got a steal to seal the win for JU.

Jacksonville looked to be in the clear midway through the second half after turning a seven- point halftime lead into an 11-point margin, 44-33, with 13:40 to go in regulation courtesy of a 3-point play by Colbert.

The Ospreys clawed back into the game via an 11-2, with Riley hitting a 3-poitner to pull UNF within two, 46-44, with 8:51 left in regulation.

The Dolphins then jumped back on top by scoring the next seven points, with Ayron Hardy getting a layup after a steal on the inbounds pass following a Smith 3-pointer to setup UNF's comeback to force overtime.

Jacksonville is off until Thursday when they host Mercer at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.