Late Surge From Misters Powers Dolphins Past Conquistadors

Andris Misters (Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)
Andris Misters (Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Andris Misters wasn't happy that Florida National guard Regan O'Rourke "hit a three in my face'' with 1:57 to play Sunday.

His response?

The junior from Jelgava, Latvia, put his Jacksonville University teammates on his back and scored eight of his team's last nine points as the Dolphins (1-1) beat the Conquistadors 72-61 at Swisher Gym Sunday for coach Tony Jasick's first win at JU.

After O'Rourke's three-pointer pulled FNU to within 63-61 and wiped out a 14-point JU lead, it was Misters, and the Jacksonville defense, to the rescue.

FNU didn't score again and Misters connected on a three-pointer with 1:28 to play to start putting the game away at 66-61.

Teammate Josh Adeyeye (Fayetteville, N.C.) hit a free throw and Misters then connected on five free throws to seal the win and overcome a 33.8 percent shooting from the floor game from the Dolphins.

"It was a crucial point in the game,'' Misters, who led all scorers with 22 points, said. "I didn't do a good job the previous possession on defense when the guy hit a three in my face. I was lucky to make the shot for a six-point lead.''

The win, Misters said, is what he'll take from the game, not the heroics.

"I'm happy to get our first win as a Dolphin and probably not going to think that much about this game, we have games every other day now,'' he said.

The Dolphins, according to Jasick, still are at the beginning of a long process.

"It's better to learn through winning than learn through losing,'' he said. "We got really tentative in the second half but that's all part of it. It's going to be up and down as we go through this process. We showed some grit and toughness down the stretch.''

Both teams started the game cold and through the first 12:15 of play the Dolphins were shooting just 28.6 percent from the floor and Florida National 27.3%.

As the first half started to wind down and the Dolphins clinging to a precarious 22-18 lead, Adeyeye took matters into his own hands and connected on a 3-pointer from the baseline with 4:44 to play. He backed that up with another 3-pointer with 4:10 to go and a 28-18 lead.

Not completely done, Adeyeye, who ended with 15 points, picked up his own blocked layup and put that in with 3:11 to go and hit another 3-pointer from the baseline for a 33-22 lead.

The pesky Conquistadors, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), got back to within seven, but the Dolphins' Josh Murray slammed home an offensive rebound at the buzzer for a 37-28 halftime lead.

"The only way that we can have a chance is that we play together,'' Jasick said. "Our talent level when we play together is pretty good and I think our talent level by itself is not good enough. We have got to continue to play together and understand what's a good risk and what's a bad risk. I thought there were times in the first half that offensively we looked like a team that has a chance.''

The Dolphins picked off 53 rebounds in the game with sophomore Marcel White (Lake Wales, Fla.) grabbing a team-high 10.

Jacksonville plays host to Jackson State Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena and heads to North Carolina State Thursday. For tickets on Tuesday call 904-256-7863.