Men's basketball ready for final two home games of 2007

Feb. 21, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville men's basketball team puts its undefeated record at home on the line for the final time this weekend as the Dolphins wrap up the regular season with two games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Dolphins (14-12, 10-6 A-Sun) face Belmont on Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by the season finale against Lipscomb on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Jacksonville has been red hot of late, winning four of the last five and seven of the last nine. The recent hot streak has propelled the Dolphins into contention for a higher seed in next week's Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

"We've got two very important games this week and our focus right now is on Belmont," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We need to focus on getting better and correcting the mistakes that we've made in the past couple of games."

The latest hot streak has come with exceptional performances.

In a true team effort, JU upset league-leading East Tennessee State with seven players scoring at least six points, with three in double figures.

Next was the coming out party for Ben Smith. He put up 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in leading JU back from a halftime deficit against Kennesaw State.

Smith follows that up with a career-high 28 points and five assists, including a season-high six 3-pointers, to keep the Dolphins close at Mercer.

Helping JU get over the top against the Bears was Jesse Kimbrough, who scored 21 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled down nine rebounds in the win. His signature move of the game was his off-balanced 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left that sent the game into overtime.

Once in overtime, Kimbrough took over, scoring half of JU's eight points to give the Dolphins their third road win of the season.

No matter what happens this week, the Dolphins are assured of the No. 4 seed, but two wins this weekend move Jacksonville into the No. 3 seed.

Other JU Basketball Headlines:
JU head coach Cliff Warren named a finalist for two national coach of the year honors:
- Jim Phelan Award - National Coach of the Year
- Durham Award - Mid-Major Coach of the Year

Angela Lento of highlights the Dolphins

Jeff Goodman from talks about the Dolphins in his daily blog

Sam Borden of the Florida Times-Union takes an inside look at Coach Warren

Game Notes - JU vs. Belmont