Jacksonville Tops USC Upstate 68-64
Haywood matched his career high with 19 points for the second straight game
Haywood matched his career high with 19 points for the second straight game
Dolphins win another tight game to improve to 9-6 in the A-Sun

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The cardiac kids were at it again Thursday night. Junior guard Keith McDougald (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored a go-ahead lay-up with 12 second left to help send Jacksonville (14-14; 9-6 A-Sun) to a 68-64 win over USC Upstate (14-15; 8-8 A-Sun) in another tightly contested affair at Veterans Memorial Arena.

“Down the stretch we wanted to make sure the ball got into Keith’s hands and I think he made the right decision by attacking the basket and not settling for a jumper,” said JU Head Coach Cliff Warren.

McDougald led JU with 21 points, scoring 16 points in the second half, including his reverse lay-in with the shot clock winding down and the game tied at 64-64. Following a steal by freshman Jarvis Haywood (Charlotte, N.C.) on the final Upstate possession, senior Russell Powell (Newnan, Ga.) calmly hit two free throws to seal the win.

Haywood matched his career high with 19 points for the second straight game. Powell meanwhile handed out five assists against one turnover while adding three steals.

Playing in close games is nothing new to the Dolphins. Seven of JU’s nine league wins have been decided by four points or less or have gone to overtime. That experience paid off down the stretch for the Dolphins as the final 15 minutes were highlighted by nine ties and six lead changes.

Before the back-and-forth exchanges down the stretch, the Dolphins controlled the tempo leading by as many as 12 points towards the end of the first half. Upstate followed with a 20-7 spurt over a seven minute stretch to take its first lead of the game with 14:40 left to play.

McDougald’s second three-pointer of the night with 4:29 remaining gave JU a six point cushion and appeared to put the Dolphins back in the drivers seat. The Spartans were ready with their response and rattled off seven straight points over the next three minutes which led to a 63-62 lead after an offensive tip in by Torrey Craig (12 points, 14 rebounds).

Haywood gave the lead back to JU with two free throws on the next Dolphins possession only to have the Spartans tie it once more. Jodd Maxey evened the count for Upstate hitting the first of two free throws with 44 seconds left.

The Dolphins called a timeout when the shot clock wound under 10 seconds to set up McDougald’s go-ahead score.

The victory gives JU a season split with Upstate and places the Dolphins in a tie for third with Stetson and a game-and-a half ahead of the Spartans in the league standings.

Freshman Kordario Fleming (Memphis, Tenn.) added 10 points and nine rebounds for JU while senior Glenn Powell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) offset an off offensive night by matching a season high with 12 rebounds.

The Dolphins host ETSU on Saturday in their final home game of 2012-13. The seniors duo of Glenn Powell and Russell Powell will be honored before the 3:15 pm contest. Catch all the action on 92.5 FM, your flagship station for JU athletics  

• Jacksonville is 9-1 inside Veterans Memorial Arena this season
• The Dolphins have now won A-Sun games this year when both teams have scored in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s and 40s
• Haywood is averaging 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last six games
• Glenn Powell moved into a tie for fifth on the JU career blocks list with Willie McDuffie (1985-87) with his 127th block