For his first Atlantic Sun appearance, JU men’s basketball player Darien Fernandez didn’t let his height stop him from gaining 31 points. Unfortunately, his 31 points were not enough as Lipscomb University (12-20, 3-7 A-Sun) defeated Jacksonville University (16-16, 8-6 A-Sun) on March 1 with a final score of 92-89 in the first round of the A-Sun tournament.
After a strong fight, Lipscomb won in overtime taking the lead with a layup and two free throw shots due to a JU foul. The last four minutes were foul after foul, and a few missed free throw shots from the Dolphins caused them to fight into the final 14 seconds. With the Bisons up by two, they doubled it to four as guard Nathan Moran hit two free throws.
Marcel White didn’t end his fight and hit a three pointer with 4.4 seconds left to put the Dolphins back in the game, changing the score to 90-89. Leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats, Moran of Lipscomb hit two late free throws before the Dolphins missed their final shot after the buzzer sounded.
The lead went back and forth in the first half as both teams were firing non stop three pointers. As the scores increased, not even White’s last three pointer could keep the Dolphins in the lead. Lipscomb ended the first half at 44-39 and started the second half with a layup to increase their lead over Jacksonville. However, that didn’t stop the fight in Fernandez as he made a quick steal from Lipscomb and threw a swift pass to Kori Babineaux for a layup. The Dolphins were once again put back in the lead as guard Fernandez hit two more three’s, making the score 54-52.
With Lipscomb keeping their fight alive, Jacksonville couldn’t keep the lead long enough. The Bisons outscored JU 18-11 in the final nine minutes of the second half and with time running out, JU’s Josh Adeyeye was called for a charge which sent the game into overtime.
Fernandez set a career high of 31 points, White had 24 points, and Babineaux scored 13 points for the Dolphins.
This is the end for the the Dolphins. They finished with an overall record of 16-16.