Men's hoops drops regular season finale at Stetson, 81-64

March 1, 2008

Box Score

DeLAND, Fla. - After a red-hot shooting night on Thursday, the JU men's basketball team couldn't find the range on Saturday, falling at Stetson, 81-64, in Atlantic Sun Conference action.

Stetson (16-15, 11-5 A-Sun) avenged its loss to the Dolphins (16-12, 12-4 A-Sun) in the opening weekend of conference play when JU rallied in the final minute before winning in triple overtime.

The Hatters got a game-high 23 points from A.J. Smith, hitting two of Stetson's 11 3-pointers. Stetson had three other players in double figures with Garfield Blair adding 15, along with Eric Diaz and Tim Lang chipping in with 13 each.

"We didn't do a good job of contesting shots and they got on a roll," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "There are some things that have happened in the last couple of games that we've got to fix as we get ready for Mercer on Wednesday."

The 64 points is the lowest offensive output for the Dolphins in conference play this season, beating the previous low of 67 set in the win over UNF back on Jan. 19.

Trailing by 19 at the half, the Dolphins slowly cut into the lead and trailed by 10, 54-44, after a 3-point play by Travis Cohn with 10:52 left in the game.

The Hatters answered with a run of their own, going on a 13-3 run to push the lead to 20 courtesy of back-to-back 3-pointers by Lang.

JU made a final run to cut the deficit to 13, but it was too much, too late as the Hatters ran away in the final moments to seal the win.

The Dolphins had three players in double figures, with Ben Smith scoring a team-high 18 points. Lehmon Colbert added 15 and Marcus Allen had 10 in the loss.

Stetson opened a double-digit lead early in the first half and extended it to 19 by the end of the half, taking a 39-20 lead into the locker room at intermission.

The Dolphins open their quest for a NCAA Tournament bid in the A-Sun Tournament on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. against No. 7 seed Mercer.