Dolphins Fall Victim to Late Surge by Liberty, 69-59

Dolphins Fall Victim to Late Surge by Liberty, 69-59


– The Jacksonville University men's basketball team (9-13, 2-5 ASUN) gave ASUN leading Liberty (18-4, 7-0 ASUN) everything it could handle on Sunday afternoon but a late surge from the Flames proved too much to overcome down the stretch, 69-59.

The Dolphins out-rebounded, out-paint-touched and for the most part out-shot Liberty throughout the game aside from a stretch late in the second half that separated the game. Liberty ultimately shot 75 percent in the second half to overcome a 10-point Dolphin lead. Jacksonville shot 48.1 percent in the game, despite a 4-17 mark from long range.

The lone JU player to reach double figures was JD Notae who canned 15 points while his supporting cast did its best to spread out the Liberty defense throughout the game. Bryce Workman gave perhaps his best minutes of the season and produced four points and four rebounds for his effort. Aamahne Santos scored all eight of his points in the first half on 3-4 shooting while Tyreese Davis came up with nine points and three assists. Jace Hogan contributed eight points and four rebounds.

The Dolphins trailed by as many as nine points with 9:11 left in the first half but a 7-0 run cut the Liberty advantage to just two with 5:52 to play in the opening frame. The Jacksonville defense locked in, took away the perimeter and turned defense into offense to close the half on a 16-4 run, capped by a Santos triple, and take a three-point lead into the locker room.

Leading by two with 13:03 to play, Workman muscled his way inside to score and push JU ahead by four. Hogan followed with a layup in transition then DeAnthony McCallum sent the Swisher Gymnasium crowd into a frenzy with a thunderous driving slam to put his team up eight. Jalyn Hiton capped the run with a steal and lay-in to push the Dolphins ahead by 10, 42-32, with 11:16 to go.

It was a slow burn to the finish from that point on. Liberty found its stroke and had erased the JU lead and taken its own one-point advantage by the 7:23 mark. After some back-and-forth, Liberty ultimately pulled away late to secure the victory and remain unbeaten in ASUN play.

Next up for Jacksonville will be a home date with one of its oldest rivals, Stetson. The first of two matchups between the Dolphins and Hatters will take place at Swisher Gymnasium on Wednesday, Jan. 30, with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.