Dolphins down Trojans, 74-71

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 20, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Defense was the name of the game, as Jacksonville University held off a late Troy State rally to claim a 74-71 win in a key Atlantic Sun Conference game Saturday afternoon.

In a role reversal, the Trojans hit just two three-pointers, while the Dolphins used the arc to their advantage, hitting nine. Troy State would pound the ball inside, scoring 39 points in the paint while the Dolphins scored just 10.

JU held the Trojans (10-6, 6-3 A-Sun) to just 35.2 percent shooting, going 25-of-71 from the floor. The Dolphins (14-5, 8-2 A-Sun) were 21-of-60 from the floor, but held a 54-45 advantage on the boards and went to the free throw line 34 times, hitting 24.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The game was called tightly, as both team combined for 54 fouls. Lamayn Wilson and Lovell Craig both fouled for Troy State, while JU had five players with three fouls or more.

The Trojans full court press forced JU’s Toby Frazier to throw an errant inbounds pass to give Troy State the ball back. Rushing capitalized on the opportunity, nailing a running jumper to cut the lead to five with just 28 seconds left.

Troy State once again came out pressing, and after JU called a timeout, the Trojans got a five second call to get the ball back again. Wilson missed a short jumper, but Rob Lewin slammed home the rebound to cut the Dolphins lead to three.

The Trojans got created another turnover out of the press and Lewin was able to make a layup to cut the Dolphins lead to one, with just 14 seconds left.

The Dolphins were finally able to get the ball inbounds and Robinson was fouled, converting both free throws to push the lead to three, with 13 seconds left.

Rushing pushed the ball up the floor, and shot an off-balance three-pointer while trying to get fouled at the buzzer, which bounced off the front rim to seal the win for Jacksonville.

The Trojans were hampered by fouls early, as Wilson picked up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game and only played five minutes in the first half. Without Wilson, Lewin and Craig combined for 17 points in the first half, with Lewin scoring 11 to help keep the Trojans in the game.

The lead bounced back and forth over the first eight minutes, before Troy State went on a 7-0 run to take a 16-12 lead with just 10 minutes left in the half.

The Dolphins would rally, holding the Trojans scoreless for five minutes, as JU would go on a 16-1 run to take a 27-17 lead with just under six minutes left in the half.

TSU would bounce back with Lacedrick Pettway hitting two free throws to cut the Dolphins lead to five at the half.

Troy State answered the bell in the second half, scoring the first nine points of the half to take a 41-39 lead on a baseline jumper by Wilson.

The Dolphins would come back and take the lead on a basket by Antwan Robertson, and Robinson would take over, scoring 18 in the second half, including 11 straight points for JU, to lead the Dolphins to the win.

The loss put a damper on the game as Robert Rushing became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the Division I era, passing former Troy State great Rhodney Donaldson atop the list. Donaldson scored 1,363 points in his career, with Rushing topping that with a total of 1,372 points. He is now seventh on the school’s all-time points list.

Lewin led four Trojans in double-figures with 17, with Rushing adding 15. Craig and Ben Fletcher both added 10. For Lewin, it was his first double-double of the year and second of his career.

Troy State is back in action again on Wednesday, as they play host to A-Sun rival Mercer. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Arena.