Jacksonville Sports Day

JU: Bell, Barnes, McCallum Propel Dolphins to Victory

JACKSONVILLE – It would seem that after all of the heavy travel in recent weeks, the Jacksonville University men’s basketball team (5-6) just needed a deep breath and an evening at home get right as it got hot early and stayed hot to run away from Bethune-Cookman (5-5), 82-60.

David Bell did his thing. He scored a game and career-high 22 points on 8-11 shooting to go with 15 rebounds and a pair of assists but within his supporting cast there were plenty of career nights to go around. Bell’s season averages following his fifth double-double of the season rise to 12.5 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game.

DeAnthony McCallum, re-entering the starting lineup for the first time since Nov. 25 at Campbell, collected a career-high 10 rebounds to go with 13 points to secure the first double-double of his career. Destin Barnes was seeing red from long range. His 19 points came on 5-8 from long range and 4-4 from the stripe while also collecting a career-best eight rebounds. Take this stat for what it’s worth – Destin Barnes has made five triples in a game three times this season. In no other game has he hit more than one, yet leads the team with 21 makes from range this year.

“I thought in stretches we played with pretty good energy on both ends of the floor,” head coach Tony Jasick said. “I thought we shared the ball, I thought defensively we were really, really good for a lot of the game. I thought our seniors showed energy and toughness and they’ll need to continue to grow their voice.”

Beyond that impressive trio, Aamahne Santos found his way 11 points while Diante Wood and Mo Arnold came off the pine for six and five points, respectively. Bryce Workman tossed in four points and six rebounds with Kevin Norman pitching in a career-high four assists. As a team JU shot 45.8 percent from the floor and held the Wildcats to just 31.9 percent.

The Dolphins started fast and never looked back. Before the Swisher Gymnasium faithful could get their popcorn and settle into their seats Jacksonville had gone 4-5 from the floor and built a 14-0 lead by the 17-minute mark. The lead extended to 19-0 before Bethune-Cookman finally knocked down a free throw to get on the board but the damage had been done.

The Wildcats did however start to chip away following a pair of free throws at the 11:37 mark. Those free throws kick-started a 9-0 run that cut the Dolphin lead down to six by the 9:33 mark of the first half but JU responded down the stretch to take a 17-point lead into the locker room. For the first time in his career, Bell achieved his double-double before halftime. He had 14 points and 10 boards.

Bethune-Cookman scored a bucket with 15:23 to play in the game to drop the JU lead down to 12. The Wildcats did not score again until there was 6:43 left in the game, during which the Dolphins went on a 16-0 run and build a 28-point advantage to put this one away. Jacksonville led by as many as 30 with 2:35 to go and was able to coast to a 22-point victory.

With some wind in their sails the Dolphins float into finals week with a matchup against Middle Georgia State at home on Dec. 14. From there the team will visit Presbyterian (Dec. 18) and Clemson (Dec. 20) before closing out the calendar year on Dec. 30 at home against South Carolina State.

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