FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2005
Basketball Slips By Lipscomb, 68-64, For First A-Sun Tourney Win
March 4, 2005
NASHVILE, Tenn. - Junior guard Jesse Kimbrough scored a career-high 19 points, including the game-winning jumper in the lane with 17 seconds to play, as fourth-seeded Jacksonville earned its first Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament win by slipping by fifth-seeded Lipscomb, 68-64, in quarterfinal action Thursday night at the Curb Event Center in Nashville. Senior guard David Lee sealed the win with a pair of free throws as the Dolphins won their first postseason game since 1997, when JU defeated Arkansas State in its final year as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. JU (16-12) advances to play top-seeded Gardner-Webb in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. EST. The Bulldogs needed a last-second jumper to get past No. 7 Troy, 64-62, in the first game of the day. No. 2 UCF plays No. 3 Belmont in the other semifinal contest. Both semifinal games will be broadcast live on Comcast Sports Southeast.
Kimbrough, who also had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, penetrated in the lane as he had all night and hit a leaning one-hander to give JU a 66-64 lead. He scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half. Lipscomb's Eddie Ard missed a turnaround jumper on the ensuing possession and Lee grabbed the rebound. Sophomore All-Conference forward Haminn Quaintance added 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks for the Dolphins, including a huge three-pointer with 1:34 to play which gave JU a 64-62 lead. Ard hit a jumper to tie the game 16 seconds later.
Eight of the nine Dolphins scored in the game, including six from walk-in freshman Brad Larson. JU got 27 points from its bench (18 in first half), including nine from Aubrey Conerly and seven from B.J. Surry. The Dolphins limited the Bisons to just 39 percent shooting for the game, including 29 percent in the first half when JU built a 34-26 halftime advantage. Lipscomb went on a 9-0 run to open the second half thanks to seven quick points from James Poindexter to take a 35-34 lead. Poindexter, who finished with a game-high 24 points, continued his hot hand as the Bisons extended the lead to 47-42 with 13:57 to play in the game.
Conerly and Antonio Cool hit back-to-back three-pointers for the Dolphins to cap a 12-0 run and JU took a 54-49 lead at the 8:45 mark. After Lipscomb tied the game at 57-57 on a tip-in by Shaun Durant, Kimbrough hit a pair of free throws, but Poindexter answered with a three for the 60-59 advantage. Kimbrough answered again with a tough lay-up around the goal to set up a wild final three minutes.
The Dolphins improved to 12-2 this season when leading at the half as they gave head coach Hugh Durham his first postseason win at Jacksonville in eight tries. JU split the season series with Gardner-Webb this year, losing 81-53 in Boiling Springs before winning 69-58 nine days later in Jacksonville. The Dolphins have not played in a conference championship game since 1989, when JU lost to South Alabama, 105-99, in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game.
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