THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013
Jacksonville Tops Stetson 71-70 To Stay Among A-Sun Leaders
Dolphins now tied for first at 7-3 with FGCU and USC Upstate
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A put back lay-up by junior guard Keith McDougald (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a defensive stand in the final 20 seconds were the difference makers in a 71-70 win by Jacksonville over Stetson on Thursday night. With the win the Dolphins move off into a three-way tie for first in the Atlantic Sun with Saturday’s opponent Florida Gulf Coast (W, 89-75 at UNF) and USC Upstate (W, 83-71 vs Lipscomb).
McDougald finished with a team high 19 points and seven rebounds for JU which has won five of the last six and improved to 12-11 overall and 7-3 in the A-Sun. Freshman Kordario Fleming (Memphis, Tenn.) scored a career high 16 points with five coming in the final two minutes of a game that features 15 lead changes in the second half alone.
The energetic crowd at historic Swisher Gymnasium helped spark the Dolphins to a 17-8 lead before Stetson (9-12; 6-4) caught fire. The Hatters hit seven straight field goals at one stretch of the first half which led to their 34-30 advantage at the break.
The second half more than lived up to its billing as a match-up of two of the top teams in the A-Sun. With eight of those 15 second half lead changes coming in the last four minutes, the final result was certain to go down to the buzzer.
Stetson gained a two point advantage with 1:25 left when Chris Perez converted a three-point play for three of his game high 32 points. Fleming answered less than 30 seconds later with a three-point play of his own to put JU back on top 69-68 with just under a minute to go.
Perez followed with another jumper inside the paint as the Hatters went back up by one setting up the final offensive sequence for the Dolphins.
Freshmen Jarvis Haywood (Charlotte, N.C.) (11 points, 7 rebounds) drove the lane with 30 seconds left, but when his contested lay-up was off the mark, McDougald was there with the put back to give JU the advantage once more.
The Hatters went to Perez again, but this time the Dolphin defense had the answer as his 8-foot leaner off the glass was off the mark.
The Dolphins host Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at Swisher Gymnasium. Listen on 92.5 FM.