Men's hoops holds off late rally to top Stetson, 69-65

Jan. 20, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the Jacksonville men's basketball team continues to grow, they are learning new ways to win ball games.

On Saturday night, the Dolphins were able to battle through a defensive slugfest and held off a late rally for a 69-65 win over Stetson in Atlantic Sun Conference play.

Jesse Kimbrough led all scorers with 17 points, tying his career high with three 3-pointers, as the Dolphins (9-10, 5-4 A-Sun) racked up their 150th win ever at Swisher Gymnasium.

"We're still learning how to win and we can't play tentative when we've got the lead," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "This was a good win for us to finish a tough week."

Lehmon Colbert added 11 points to finish as the only other Dolphin in double figures, pulling down a game-high seven rebounds. Point guard Ben Smith scored nine points and dished out six assists for JU.

Sporting a five-point halftime lead, the Dolphins found themselves in a dogfight quickly as the Hatters opened the beacon half on a 13-8 run, taking a 38-35 lead on a Sheldon Oliver jumper with just over 13 minutes left in the game.

With the game tied at 44 with nine minutes left in the game, JU went on a 16-2 run - sparked by three-point plays from Colbert and Tyrone Curnell, to take a 60-44 lead with 2:40 left in the game.

Stetson (7-13, 3-6 A-Sun) didn't go quietly, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute to cut the Dolphins lead to three, 63-60, with 48 seconds remaining.

JU wasn't going to be denied, hitting 4-of-6 at the charity stripe and capping the game off emphatically on a dunk by Colbert.

Stetson had three players in double figures, led by Garfield Blair's 16. Gabe McMillen had 11 and J.J. Hirst had 10.

Stetson opened the game by scoring seven of the first 10 points before the Dolphins tied the game at 21 and built a six-point lead at one point before taking a five-point cushion to the locker room, 35-30.

The Dolphins hit the road again on Thursday as they travel to face Gardner-Webb. Tipoff is set for 8:15 p.m.