This Week in Jacksonville University Athletics

Feb. 19, 2007


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In this week's edition, we will look at the thrilling wins by both JU basketball teams and relive the dominating performance by the JU track team in winning their second A-Sun Indoor Track and Field Championship. We will also check out the busy week ahead in the world of JU athletics.


Men's Basketball: The Dolphins split a pair of games last week on their final regular-season road trip.

Jesse Kimbrough scored 21 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out 10 assists, including an off-balanced game-tying 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in regulation, and four points in overtime to lead the Dolphins to a 101-97 win over Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Conference "Game of the Week" on Feb. 16.

Kimbrough's epic night was one of many as six Dolphins scored in double figures, led by the third straight career-high outing for Ben Smith - who scored 28 points.

Two days later, JU was not able to repeat their late-game heroics as they fell to Stetson, 62-57, in DeLand, Fla.

Kimbrough scored a team-high 13 points and eight rebounds for the Dolphins and missed a 3-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime, while Smith added 11 points and four assists, but was 0-for-4 at the free throw line.

This week, JU hosts Belmont and Lipscomb for their final two games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The Dolphins open with the Bruins on Thursday at 7 p.m. and play the Bisions in the home finale on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Women's Basketball: The Dolphins sweep two A-Sun games at home last week.

Five Dolphins scored in double figures and hit crucial free throws in the final minute to lead JU to a dramatic 83-79 win over second-place East Tennessee State on Feb. 15 at Swisher Gymnasium.

On Feb. 17, JU shook off a sluggish first half to earn a 74-57 victory over Kennesaw State.

DaVina Hamitlon scored 17 of her career-high 21 points in the second half, while Ashley Williams added 11 of her game-high 26 in the second stanza to pace the Dolphins to program-record eighth-straight home win.

The Dolphins hit the road starting Thursday to take on Mercer at 7 p.m. in Macon, Ga. They wrap up the week in DeLand, Fla. on Saturday to face Stetson at 2 p.m.

Track and Field: For the second straight year, JU dominated to win the A-Sun Indoor Track and Field Championship in Johnson City, Tenn. on Feb. 17.

The Dolphins led from start to finish and tallying an astounding 150 overall points, which nearly doubled the second place mark of 81 points by Belmont and East Tennessee State.

JU had 16 all-conference performances, including eight conference champions and five conference records. In addition, there were four other point scoring performances throughout the two-day event.

Senior Janita Ocana was named "Most Outstanding Field Performer" after winning the long jump with a championship record jump of 19'06.75" and placing fourth in the triple jump with 36'02.25".

Alyssa Deal was the second Dolphin in two conference indoor meets to earn "Most Outstanding Freshman Performer" accolades, while head coach Ron Grigg was named "Coach of the Year" for the second consecutive indoor season to round out the JU individual honors.

The Dolphins will now start preparing to defend their 2006 A-Sun outdoor track title when they open the outdoor season on March 29 at the FSU Relays in Tallahassee, Fla.

Softball: The Dolphins outlasted Memphis, 2-1, in eight innings to open the Sunshine State Tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 16.

Senior Katie Buell tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, while Renee LaCroix and Sara Gordon each had an RBI in the game to help secure the win.

After the victory, big innings seemed to haunt JU as they fell to No. 22 Florida State, South Carolina and Kansas.

Gordon became the first Dolphin in four seasons to earn all-tournament accolades after batting .455 (5-11) with a double and three RBI.

The Dolphins take on in-state rival Bethune Cookman on Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at 5 p.m. They will then face James Madison, Illinois, Texas Tech and the Wildcats again at the Florida Atlantic Pepsi Classic starting Friday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Baseball: The Dolphins let victory just narrowly slip through their grasps as they fell Georgia Southern and South Florida last week.

Senior outfielder Pete Clifford broke out of his early slump by going 3-for-5 with two doubles but Georgia Southern took advantage of Dolphin miscues as the JU baseball team fell to the Eagles, 10-6, on Feb. 13 at Alexander Brest Field.

After sweeping South Florida last season, the Bulls would return the favor to the Dolphins by taking a 10-9 victory on Feb. 16 at Alexander Brest Field and finishing with two wins at Red McEwan Field over the weekend in Tampa, Fla.

Freshman shortstop Chuck Opachich finished with five hits in two games, while junior right-hander Matt Gardner allowed two runs in seven innings for a no-decision on Feb. 18.

This week, JU travels to play in the Coca-Cola Classic starting Friday in Mobile, Ala. The Dolphins opens the tournament with Auburn on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and take on host South Alabama on Saturday at 2 p.m. They finish on Sunday with Michigan State at noon.

Men's Golf: JU senior Duncan Stewart tied for the individual title before falling on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to lead the Jacksonville men's golf team to a 10th-place finish at the Pat Hicks Invitational.

Stewart carded a four-under par 68 on the par-72 Sunbrook Golf Course to finish in a tie with Southern Utah's Aaron Weston for medalist honors at nine-under par for 36 holes.

The Dolphins are back in action on March 5-6 at the Braveheart Classic in Beaumont, Calif.

Women's Tennis: The Dolphins clinched all three double matches and four out of six singles matches to pick up a 4-3 victory over Stetson on Feb. 16.

The Dolphins are back in action at home against Mercer on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Other Notable Events

- The men's tennis team hosts Mercer on Saturday at the Keith Watson Family Tennis Complex. First serve is at 2 p.m.

- The women's golf team opens the 2007 spring season at Bethune Cookman Invitational in Daytona Beach on Feb. 23-24.