Jacksonville Sports Day

JU: Dolphins Honor Seniors in 69-55 Win Over Kennesaw State

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University men’s basketball team (13-16, 6-8 ASUN) took care of business on the day it honored its three seniors by jumping ahead of Kennesaw State (1-26, 0-14 ASUN) early and maintaining the pace throughout to pick up the victory, 69-55.

It was, of course, two senior stars that shone brightest on senior night, with David Bell leading the way by scoring 16 points and securing 15 rebounds to go with two blocks. This monster double-double is the 14th of Bell’s season and 17th of his career. It’s the 16th time he’s grabbed double-digit rebounds during his senior campaign and the sixth time he’s pulled down 15 or more. Bell is now just 14 rebounds shy, with two games left in the regular season and at least one postseason game left, of becoming the first Dolphin to grab 300 rebounds in a season since Mike Hackett (304) in 1981-82.

DeAnthony McCallum led JU in scoring on Thursday night in a heartbreaking loss to Lipscomb. The senior vindicated that loss on Saturday by scoring 15 points on 5-7 shooting which includes 3-3 from deep and 2-2 at the free throw line. Across his two games prior to Lipscomb, McCallum scored just one point on 0-6 shooting. In the two games since, the senior has combined to score 36 points on 14-18 and 5-5 from three-point range.

Destin Barnes shook off a tough shooting night on Thursday and re-emerged to score 14 points while pulling down seven boards. Mo Arnold handed out five more assists. He’s averaging 4.6 helpers over his last three games. Bryce Workman added four points and five rebounds off the bench while Kevin Norman got hot for nine points, three steals (matched career-high) and two assists.

The third senior being celebrated on this fine Saturday night was Aamahne Santos who did not disappoint. He handed out a season and career-high tying six assists while scoring three points and grabbing four rebounds.

Kennesaw State never led in this one as the Dolphins jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the fans in the stands let their popcorn cool down. The lead grew to 13 when Norman converted one of his steals into a fast break layup with 6:07 to go in the half and ballooned to 16 when McCallum canned a triple from 25 feet with 28 seconds to go. Jacksonville took a 14-point advantage, 37-23, into the locker room.

Jacksonville built multiple leads of 20 in the second half until Workman broke the seal on that plateau with a driving layup to give JU a 21-point lead at the 11:25 mark. Diante Wood converted an alley-oop from Norman in transition to grow the lead to 23 which turned out to be the largest of the game for the Dolphins.

Head Coach Tony Jasick was able to empty the bench down the stretch as each senior exited the game to a standing ovation in what could be the final home game of their Dolphin careers.

The 2019-20 regular season will conclude on the road as the Dolphins head out for back-to-back games opposite in-state rivals with major ASUN Championship seeding scenarios still up in the air. The Dolphins will first visit FGCU on Thursday, Feb. 27 looking to even the season series. That game is set to tip at 7 p.m. from Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla.

From there, JU will head to Deland for a date with Stetson on Feb. 29 (1 p.m.). It’ll be just the fifth time in program history that Jacksonville will play a game on Feb. 29. A win for Jacksonville splits the season series with Stetson as well and depending on how the results around the league shake out, could put JU anywhere from 4-6 in the final standings.

Regardless of seed, the ASUN Championship gets underway on Tuesday, March 3. Should the Dolphins finish as the No. 4 seed, they’ll host the No. 5 seed at home that day in the ASUN Quarterfinal. All game times will be released at a later date.

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