Men's basketball uses strong second half to knock off South Carolina State, 87-74

Nov. 25, 2006

Box Score |  Notes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Six Dolphins scored in double figures, led by four freshmen, as the Jacksonville men's basketball team scored 52 points in the second half to knock off South Carolina State on Saturday night at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, 87-74.

The freshmen paced the Dolphins, scoring 54 of the points for JU. Freshmen Corey Claitt and Lehmon Colbert led all scorers with 17 points apiece while Tyrone Curnell and Ben Smith added 10 points each.

Joining the quartet of freshman in double figures was Evan Jefferson with 14 off the bench and Jesse Kimbrough's 12 points.

"Our freshmen played very well tonight," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "They are still learning, but they keep getting experience each game and it shows. We shot the ball really well at the free throw line tonight, which was pleasant to finally see this year."

The Dolphins got a strong dose of free throw shooting, hitting 37-of-42 from the free throw line. Smith and Curnell didn't miss a free throw, with Smith going 8-for-8 and Curnell went 6-for-6.

Curnell led the team in rebounding with eight, while Colbert and Claitt had seven each.

The Dolphins closed the first half in a blinding blitz, turning a seven-point deficit with 45 seconds left into a one-point margin at the half - capped by a jumper by Claitt at the buzzer.

Despite owning the lead just once in the first half, the Dolphins trailed through the first five minutes of the second half before Jefferson's second straight 3-pointer put JU on top, 47-45.

Jacksonville would never trail again as the 18-4 run pushed the lead to 10 with 10 minutes to go. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to five, but would never get closer as JU knocked down the free throws to ice the game.

South Carolina State (0-4) got 15 points from Jason Flagler, 13 points from Derek Davis and 12 points from Marcus McCants.

The Dolphins are back in action again on Monday at in-state rival UCF. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.