Men's hoops falls on the road to Stetson, 62-57

Feb. 18, 2007

Box Score

DeLAND, Fla. - The Jacksonville men's basketball team struggled offensively, scoring a season-low 57 points as Stetson held on for a 62-57 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play on Sunday.

Jesse Kimbrough scored a team-high 13 points and eight rebounds for the Dolphins (14-12, 10-6 A-Sun) and missed a 3-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime. Ben Smith added 11 points and four assists, but was 0-for-4 at the free throw line.

The loss snapped JU's four-game winning streak as the Hatters (11-17, 6-10 A-Sun) split the season series with the Dolphins.

Gabe McMillen led the Hatters with 21 points in his final home game for Stetson, with four assists and was perfect on seven free throw attempts.

"We didn't do a good job of taking care of the basketball and you can't do that against anyone on the road," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "Having said that, we still had a chance to win the game."

Free throw shooting doomed the Dolphins chances as JU hit just 10-of-21 from the stripe while Stetson made a living at the line, going 15-of-18.

After tying the game at 28 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half, the Hatters kept the momentum going early in the second half, with McMillen hitting a 3-pointer to give Stetson its first lead, 33-30, just two minutes into the second half.

The Dolphins answered with back-to-back baskets by Corey Claitt and a layup by Ljubisa Vrcelj to go ahead 36-33 with 16:41 left in the game.

The two teams traded baskets before McMillen's 3-pointer with 11:17 left in regulation tied the game at 44.

Stetson went on a 13-4 run to take a 57-48 lead with 5:40 left in the game courtesy of the free throw line. The Hatters hit six straight free throws at one point to push the lead to nine.

The Dolphins rallied to cut the deficit to two, 59-57, on Kimbrough's 12-foot jumper with 1:05 left in the game.

Smith toed the stripe with a chance to tie the game and missed both free throws, with Tim Lang coming back to hit one of two to give Stetson a 60-57 lead.

In the same situation on Friday, Kimbrough nailed a 3-pointer, but this time, he came up short and McMillen hit both free throws to ice the Stetson win.

Eric Diaz came off the bench with 11 points for Stetson while Sheldon Oliver led the Hatters with five rebounds.

Ljubisa Vrcelj was the spark off the bench for JU, scoring nine points and pulling down four boards in 23 minutes of action.

For the second straight game, the Dolphins opened with a big run - going ahead 14-4 in the first six minutes. The Hatters battled back throughout the half and eventually tied it on a 3-pointer by Lang at the buzzer to tie the game at 28.

The Dolphins return home for its final homestand at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena of the season against two of the top teams in the A-Sun, starting with Belmont on Thursday at 7 p.m., and followed by Lipscomb on Saturday at 6 p.m.