JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Red-shirt freshman Anthony Banks recorded a career-high 24 points and five rebounds but the Dolphins led by Ben Smith’s five three-pointers were too much to overcome as Jacksonville knocked off the FGCU men’s basketball team by a score of 68-62 on Thursday night at Veteran Memorial Arena.
With the win, JU keeps pace atop the A-Sun Standings at 14-10 (10-5 A-Sun), while the Eagles fall to 7-18 (4-12 A-Sun).
With 11:49 remaining in the first half FGCU and JU found themselves tied at 12 apiece as they headed into the second media timeout. Though the Eagles shot 62.5-percent (5-of-8) compared to just 35.7-percent (5-of-14) from the Dolphins, JU was able to stay close thanks in part to seven early turnovers from the Blue and Green.
Following back-to-back layups from red-shirt freshman Eddie Murray (North Ft. Myers, Fla.) the Eagles had their biggest lead of the half at 22-16 with just under six minutes remaining in the half. But the Dolphins would quickly answer with six straight points to tie the score, as Ben Smith finally got in the scorebook with two consecutive field goals.
JU used a 12-6 run over the final few minutes of the half to keep the score tied, but following an FGCU steal, freshman Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla.) drained a 3-pointer as time expired to give the upstart Eagles a 31-28 halftime lead. Murray (4-of-4 FG, 2-of-2 FT) and red-shirt freshman Banks (Lantana, Fla.) (5-of-5 FG)led the way for the Blue and Green with 10 points apiece. Smith also had 10 to lead the Dolphins.
It took nearly three and a half minutes into the second half, but freshman Hunter Miller (Nashville, Tenn.) finally got FGCU on the board with an old fashioned three-point play, hitting a layup as he was fouled. Miller would hit the free throw to give the Eagles a 34-30 lead.
Following a dunk by Tevin Galvin, the Dolphins had their biggest lead of the night with 9:29 remaining in the game. But FGCU would quickly answer as Banks finished off a layup after getting a nice feed from Miller, and with Banks steal, Senior Derrick O’Neil (Moreno Valley, Calif.) tied the game 48 apiece with a fast break dunk with 8:20 remaining before senior Kyle Marks (West Palm Beach, Fla.) capped a 6-0 run with 6:20 remaining to regain the lead for FGCU at 50-48.
But with time running out and the Eagles trailing but three and needing a stop, FGCU was unable to grab a defensive rebound and were forced to foul Glenn Powell, who drained two big free-throws to put the game out of reach for FGCU, as the Dolphins went on to win by a score of 68-62.
Banks led the way for the Eagles with 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while Murray and Brown chipped in with 10 points each. Up next, the Blue and Green travel to UNF to battle the Ospreys on Saturday, February 13th at 7:00 p.m., before returning home on February 18 for a contest against Lipscomb. The Eagles will tip-off 30 minutes following women’s game which is scheduled to tip at 5:15 p.m.