Ben Smith named Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week

Feb. 12, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Freshman Ben Smith was named Atlantic Sun Conference "Player of the Week" after leading the Jacksonville men's basketball team to two wins at home that moved the Dolphins into a tie for third place.

Smith opened the week by tying his career against league-leader East Tennessee State, scoring 14 points while committing no turnover in the win. He followed that up with a career-high 20 points, including two crucial free throws in the final moments, to lead the Dolphins second half comeback over Kennesaw State.

"This just shows that he's been working on his game the entire season and his teammates are coming along as he's coming along," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "I think any of our players would be deserving of the honor because we have no superstars - we have a team full of players that are trying to get better."

The two wins for JU (13-11, 9-5 A-Sun) moved the Dolphins into a share of third place with preseason conference favorite Lipscomb and just a game behind Belmont for second place.

"I think it's definitely an honor and a privilege," Smith said. "This honor isn't just for me, but for everyone on the team and I've got my teammates to thank for that."

Smith, a native of Dublin, Ga., scored 14 points despite going 3-of-9 from the floor against ETSU. His ability to get to the free throw line was crucial for the Dolphins win as he hit 7-of-9 from the free throw line to snap the Bucs 10-game winning streak.

Against Kennesaw State, Smith hit big shots throughout the game. He coverted a four-point play that the gave the Dolphins the lead and then iced the game with a pair of free throws with 21 second left to seal the win.

The Dolphins are back in action on Friday as they travel to face Mercer in the A-Sun "Game of the Week" which will be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.