|Hatters Can Not Catch Dolphins|
A.J. Smith delivered 22 points against JU in Jacksonville.
Courtesy: Jim Hogue Photos
Jacksonville, Fla. - The Stetson men's basketball team traveled to Jacksonville for the second time in three days to take on a conference opponent. The result against Jacksonville Saturday was not as satisfying as Thursday's win over UNF. First place JU (15-10, 11-5) defeated Stetson (6-19, 4-13) in the Veterans Memorial Arena by a score of 69-54.
Senior A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) finished one point shy of his season-high with 22 points and senior Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) added 10 points along with a season-high eight rebounds. Ayron Hardy led the way for the Dolphins with 19 points, Lehmon Colbert was the team's top rebounder with eight boards. JU's Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year candidate Ben Smith was held to just seven points.
"I thought we took care of the ball well today. I thought we played good defense, and in spurts great defense", said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh.
The toughest matchups against JU were down low on the inside. The Dolphins used their size advantage and outscored the Hatters 36-22 in the paint and outrebounded them 48-32.
Fortunately Stetson opened the game on a positive note with a 3-pointer by Lohuis. Unfortunately that was the only lead the Hatters would enjoy on the day. With 7:56 on the clock Chris Edwards hit a jumper and the Dolphins were up by 15 points at 26-11. Stetson then heated up on offense and ran off a 19-8 clip to reduce the halftime deficit to four points at 34-30.
The Hatters could not sustain the momentum coming out of the locker room. It took them until 12:08 to lower the Dolphin lead to four points after a layup by Smith. Over the next seven minutes JU pushed its advantage up to 15 points while Stetson struggled to get the ball in the hole on a consistent basis.
Coming down the stretch Stetson played the foul them and make them hit free throws game, yet could only manage to match JU 10 points each.
"Ultimately we just didn't make the shots when we needed to", said Waugh. "Jacksonville is a good team, they play well at home, and they deserve a lot of credit."
As a team Stetson finished 19-for-59 (32.2%) from the field, 7-of-26 (26.9%) from beyond the arc, and 9-for-16 (56.3%) from the line..
Next up the Hatters will return home to take on Savannah State on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. Stetson fans can see the game on Hatter Vision by going to www.gohatters.com. The voice of Stetson men's basketball Murray Miller will call the action with Harry "Chat Man" Arnold providing the color.