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ASUN: JU Takes Two-Seeded Stetson To The Brink; Fall in Final Seconds

DELAND – The 10th-seeded Jacksonville men’s basketball team fell to the second-seeded Stetson Hatters 88-87 in the ASUN Tournament’s semifinal.Robert McCray V finished with 36 points, capping a total of 91 scored in three games, and Bryce Workman concluded his career with three straight double-doubles, in addition to his 19-point, 14-rebound game. However, the Dolphins fell in heartbreaking fashion against the second-seeded Hatters on Thursday night.For McCray, the redshirt sophomore started the game by scoring all 10 of the Dolphins’ first 10 points and continued to have the hot hand throughout the night. At the end of the first half, he had 21 points on 7-10 shooting alone.In a game full of swings, the first 15 minutes were only separated by, at most, four points, which came at the 13-minute mark when Jacksonville led 15-11. From that moment forward, Stetson outscored the Dolphins 34-27 within the last 47 seconds of the half. Aubin Gateretse and Stephan Swenson combined for 21 of those points. JU was unable to convert any points on the ensuing possession, and Stetson called a timeout when it grabbed the rebound. The Hatters drew up a play, and Alec Oglesby had the ball. A mis-dribble from Oglesby caused a moment of panic for both offense and defense alike, but Oglesby regained possession. The Hatters guard found himself open from deep and drained the shot with three seconds left, giving Stetson its largest lead of the game at the time, 48-40 at the break.Gaterteste scored a quick layup to start the second half, and after a Stephon Payne III jumper fell through, hit one free throw to have the Hatters up 51-42. Jacksonville then caught wind beneath its wings for three minutes, and a McCray-fueled run saw Jacksonville burst for a 16-2 run, taking a 58-53 lead with 14 minutes to play. McCray had nine during the stretch, and Gyasi Powell added three.

A quick run from Stetson, capped by a Jalen Blackmon layup, brought JU’s edge down to just three, 66-63, with 8:22 to play. Jacksonville then found its momentum again, and to cap an 11-4 run, JU ended a 70-second possession with a McCray triple from way deep. Workman had two offensive rebounds on the possession alone, and the sixth-year senior found McCray outside the arch before McCray drained it for a new career high in points. From that moment on, Stephan Swenson stole the show.

The Hatters guard had scored 33 points combined in the previous two games against the Dolphins and continued to knock down shots when it mattered most. Swenson scored 14 points in the final 4:47, which included a triple with 4.3 seconds left to give Stetson its first lead in nearly 15 minutes.

The Dolphins drew up a play, got their shot off, but it fell just wide, and Stetson finds themselves hosting the ASUN Championship on Sunday because of it.

ADDITIONAL NOTESRobert McCray V finished the season with 589 points. He tied Dee Brown for the 11th most all-time in the process and became the first Dolphin to eclipse 550 since J.R Holder did so in 2016-17.Bryce Workman ended his career with 10 double-doubles, seven of which came this season, and three straight happened in the ASUN Tournament. Workman also ended the season as the program leader in career games played by a Dolphin, with 131 games played.

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