Dolphins Split Homestand with Two Hard Fought Battles


Photo by Austin Weaver

The Dolphins men’s basketball team returned to the friendly confines of the historic Swisher Gymnasium in a tie for first place in the Atlantic Sun. JU was set to host Stetson, who defeated the Dolphins in DeLand earlier this year, and Florida Gulf Coast, who had their way with JU in their earlier meeting.

First on tap for the Dolphins was Stetson. JU battled back and forth with the Hatters all game and took their final lead late in the game on a put back lay-up to go up 71-7o.

McDougald had a team high 19 points and seven rebounds as the Dolphins won their fifth of their last six games. Kordario Fleming recorded a career-high 16 points with five coming in the final two minutes.

JU jumped out to a 17-8 lead before the Hatters were able to crawl back in and take a 34-30 lead at the half.
The lead changed hands 15 times in the second half, eight of those coming in the final four minutes of play.

With 1:25 to play, Stetson’s Chris Perez converted a three-point play, for three of his game leading 32 points. Fleming answered with a three-point play of his own to regain the lead for JU. As he did so often, Perez put the Hatters back up with under a minute to play.

On their last possession, McDougald was able to put back a Jarvis Haywood shot that was off the mark. The Dolphins held tough at the defensive end holding on for a tough fought win.

The second game of the weekend had the Dolphins taking on FGCU. The game pinned the two leaders of the A-Sun against one another with the top-spot on the line.

JU (12-12, 7-4) fought back late but fell short, dropping the game 81-78 to Gulf Coast (16-8, 8-3).

Freshman Jarvis Haywood led the way for the Dolphins with 16 points and added six rebounds while junior Dylan Fritsch went 4-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 15 points off the bench.

Down 10 with 11 minutes to go, the Dolphins fought back to within a point on a pair of free throws with 1:16 to play from senior Russell Powell.

With eight seconds left, the Eagles hit one of two free throws, stretching their lead to 3, leaving JU with a chance to tie and send the game to overtime.

The Dolphins spent most of the game without junior guard and leading scorer Keith McDougald, who was ejected after being in the middle of a skirmish that broke out early in the first half. McDougald was attempting to break up the fight but wound up on the bad side of the outcome.

Next up for the Dolphins is a match-up against Mercer in Macon, Ga., before traveling to Kennesaw, Ga.