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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Balance and depth was the name of the game for the Jacksonville University men's basketball team (4-5) on Saturday evening as it held off a late charge from South Carolina State (1-8) to secure a victory, 71-69.
Sophomore Jalyn Hinton had another career night, especially on the defensive end of the floor where he blocked a new career-high eight shots to go with seven points and 11 boards over 33 minutes of action. He was the catalyst for the Dolphins who blocked 13 shots as a team, setting a new season high and falling just two short of the single-game program record set in 1985. Jacksonville began the night second in the nation with 49 blocks, five shy of leader Duke.
All eight Dolphins that scored, canned at least five points, led by freshman Tyreese Davis who came up with a new career-best 14 in his fourth double-digit effort this year. Jace Hogan followed close behind with 13 points on 6-11 shooting from the floor while DeAnthony McCallum came off the bench to bag 11 points on 3-8 from deep and 2-2 from the free throw line. McCallum has scored in double figures in four-straight games, now the longest such streak on the team.
Tanner Rubio came away with eight points and Aamahne Santos had seven followed by JD Notae who came off the bench for six and David Bell who returned in front of the home town crowd for five points and four boards in limited minutes. Rubio added five assists to match a season high and help his team to a 42.9 percent shooting in the win.
The Dolphins got hot from the floor early in this one, scoring on seven of their first 11 tries including a pair of threes to build a 16-11 lead by the first media timeout around the 14-minute mark. Tanner Rubio, making his first start of the season, canned an early driving lay-in and dished a trio of assists in the first 10 minutes to set the tone. A couple of those assists found a wide-open DeAnthony McCallum who was knocking down three balls.
After a long scoring drought that saw an 11-point Dolphin lead whittled down to just five, Tyreese Davis buried a three ball with an assist from Aamahne Santos. On the next trip, Jalyn Hinton collected his own miss and threw down a massive one-handed slam that sent the Swisher faithful into a frenzy. The first half came to a close with JU on top, 31-23, after shooting 43 percent from the floor with five triples.
The Dolphins came out of the locker room hot, quickly pushing its lead to 11 with a 6-2 run, capped by a Rubio three that resulted in an SCSU timeout to get things started. The lead grew to as many as 13, 43-40, followed a triple from Notae at the 16:06 mark but the Bulldogs were able to cut in and keep things semi-close throughout most of the second half.
Jalyn Hinton flushed home a dunk with 1:27 to go to give Jacksonville a seven-point lead but things got interesting from there. South Carolina State found a way to make it a two-point game in the closing moments but the Dolphins made free throws to keep the hard-charging Bulldogs at an arms-lenth and secure the victory.
Next up for JU will be a trip north to visit Presbyterian for the first of two matchups between the two programs this month. That game is set to tip on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. with the second matchup slated for Dec. 30 at Swisher Gymnasium.
Balance and Depth Guide Jacksonville to Victory Over South Carolina State, 71-69
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