POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – 17 second-half points from Darien Fernandez led Jacksonville University (7-4) to an impressive 21-point victory at Marist College (4-7) on Saturday. The Dolphins defeated the Red Foxes 85-64.
"You've got to give that group that started the second half a ton of credit," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "Coming out of the locker room with a renewed energy and our ability to be disruptive with what Marist was trying to do really set the tone for the rest of the game. Give that group of a lot of credit for getting us over the hump tonight and getting us a win on the road."
Jacksonville rebounded from a tough shooting performance with a white hot start in the second. The Dolphins hit 8 of their first 9 attempts, fueling an incredible 21-3 run over the opening 5:55, leading 54-38 with 14:05 left in the game. The first four points of that run came from Fernandez, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Marist used a 9-0 run to pull within 12 points, 70-58, with 7:07 left, but the Dolphins answered each Red Fox punch with a punch of their own. A 10-2 JU run put the game out of reach, 80-60, with 5:02 left. The two teams scored a combined nine points in the closing minutes, and JU won dominantly, 85-64.
The opening tip bounced Marist's way, and the Red Foxes capitalized with a successful jump shot on its first possession. A missed Dolphin three-pointer was answered with a good three-pointer from Marist, and a Dolphin turnover led to another Marist bucket. With 17:33 left in the 1st half, Marist led 7-0, its largest lead of the game. Jacksonville broke its 2:47 opening scoring drought with a layup from Devin Harris, the start of a 7-0 JU run that tied the game 7-7 with 16:08 remaining. Jacksonville took its first lead of the game on a deep three from J.R. Holder after Fernandez penetrated into the paint, and then took the lead again on a 3 from Darius Dawkins, 13-11, with 12:42 left.
But the Dolphins followed that up with a scoreless run on their next five possessions, and Marist took advantage with an 8-0 run to lead 19-13. Jacksonville would repeatedly chip the lead down to one or two points, and each time the Red Foxes answered with three points, either from beyond the arc or on free throw makes after made shots. JU briefly recaptured the lead 31-30 on an Andris Misters three ball, but Khallid Hart's three on the other end swung momentum back to Marist. The two teams ended the final 1:37 with a combined seven missed shots. At the end of the first half Marist led JU 35-33.
- Five Dolphins scored in double figures. Omar El Manasterly had 11, Holder had 11, Cody Helgeland had 18, Harris had 14, and Fernandez had 19. Fernandez also had five rebounds and seven assists.
- Fernandez fouled out for the fourth straight game.
- Jacksonville improved to 4-0 in games after losses, and 4-3 on the road.
- The Dolphins are now 5-0 when holding an opponent under 70.
- JU is 6-1 when scoring at least 70 points.
- Holder scored his 1,000th point with 6:47 left in the game. The senior from Atlanta, Ga., is the 31st Dolphin to score 1,000 points. He is on pace to score 1,380 points, which would put him 15th all-time in JU's record book. Currently Artis Gilmore is 15th with 1,312 career points.