DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In a game that defined the meaning of the word momentum, Jacksonville University's men's basketball team (6-3) came out with the final run of the night, taking down Bethune-Cookman University (2-7) Monday night at the ICI Center. The Dolphins defeated the Wildcats 76-66.
"Heck of a road win," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "Bethune is a good team, and they've got a couple of really good offensive players that hurt us midway through the second half. I thought our guys did a really good job of playing with some toughness and some unselfishness as the second half wore on. We were able to get the ball in the paint, hit a couple of threes, and do a great job at the free throw line to finish this one off."
Jacksonville stretched its 14-point halftime lead to 15 points with 14:21 left, holding Bethune-Cookman to 3-11 shooting during that span. But momentum swung hard the other direction over the next four minutes. From 14:21 until 10:21 the Dolphins were held scoreless, and Bethune-Cookman went on a 12-0 run on the strength of four made three-pointers in a row. The Wildcats pulled within three points, 59-56, on a layup by Brandon Tabb with 7:28 left. Jacksonville persevered though, surviving the Wildcats' best punch. The Dolphins ended the half with a 17-10 run of their own, securing a 76-66 victory. The run was fueled by JU making its final 10 attempts from the line.
For the eighth time in nine games this season the opening tip went to the opposing team. Bethune-Cookman scored on its first attempt, nailing a DEEP three pointer from Brandon Tabb. Tabb also scored on his second attempt, giving Bethune-Cookman a 5-0 lead. JU's offense struggled in the early goings, suffering two early turnovers and two missed field goals. But Harris kick-started the Dolphin scoring with back-to-back dunks, pulling JU within one at 4-5. Bethune-Cookman responded, hitting its next five shot attempts to lead 18-13 with 12:42 left in the half. The Wildcats were shooting 78% through the first seven minutes.
But what goes up must come down. Over the final 12-plus minutes of the period JU forced Bethune to miss 17 of its final 21 shot attempts. The Wildcats shot 19 percent over that span, and Jacksonville went on a 26-11 run to take a 41-29 lead at the half.
- Jacksonville is now 5-0 when scoring at least 70 points.
- Holder had 20 points, his ninth-consecutive game of at least 10 points. The senior is now just 20 points away from scoring 1,000 in his career.
- Four other Dolphins scored in double figures. Darius Dawkins had 14, Darien Fernandez had 13, Harris had 12, and Cody Helgeland had 11. This is the first time five Dolphins have scored in double figures since five did against Stetson on January 30, 2016.
- Dawkins hit three of his six three-pointers Monday, putting his career shooting percentage at 49.1 percent. The current ASUN Conference record for a career is 47.5 percent, held by Hardin-Simmons' Eric Adams, who played from 1986-88.
- Helgeland missed one of his five free throw attempts. Before that miss the junior was the only player in the entire ASUN who had attempted at least 10 free throws and not missed in his career.
- Jacksonville allowed only 66 points. That's below the Dolphins' average of 67.9 ppg allowed, best in the ASUN.