MBB: Quick Start by Mississippi State Dooms Dolphins

 STARKVILLE, Miss. -A 9-0 start over the opening five minutes of the game by Mississippi State proved to be more than Jacksonville was able to handle as the Dolphins dropped a 70-47 decision to end their two game win streak.

Andris Misters led Jacksonville (4-10) with 13 points while Kori Babineaux added 11 points.

"It's unfortunate because I thought we had made some progress over the last couple of weeks with our team," said Head Coach Tony Jasick whose team had shot ov
er 58 percent in the second half of the last two games. "I'm not sure why, but this was the first time all year that I thought we came out a little intimidated. We have some guys who can compete, but we were completely taken aback right from the tip."

Mississippi State (6-5) jumped out to its 9-0 lead in the opening five and a half minutes as the Dolphins missed their first nine shots from the field.

"We did not come out and play the way we wanted to," Jasick said. "We wanted to play a half-court game and make it hard for them score around the rim. They got the ball right to the rim and were able to kick and out and got into a rhythm from the perimeter. "

Jacksonville would hang tough however after the cold start playing the remainder of the half even as the team finished the half hitting 11 of their final 13 field goals attempted (84.6 percent). The efficient offense allowed the Dolphins to close within seven (34-27) in the final minute of the period before an offensive put back just before the buzzer put the Bulldogs up 36-27 at the break.

Mississippi State had the lead at 13 eight minutes into the second half. Jacksonville quickly moved back to within nine by capitalizing on a technical foul. First with two Misters' free throws, then a heads up inbounds play by Babineaux who bounced the ball off an unexpected defender back to himself for an easy lay-in.

The Dolphins were not able to keep the momentum going however as the Bulldogs responded with one of their eight three-pointers on the night to stay in control.

"They have good players and when they get in a rhythm and start feeling good this is what happens," said Jasick.

Jacksonville forced a season high 21 turnovers, including four straight at one point later in the second half.

"Our guys played hard enough in that segment to maybe make a dent in it and we did take advantage of our opportunities and that let the game get away from us down the stretch."

The Dolphins are back in action at home inside Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday against Jacksonville State. For ticket information contact the JU Ticket office at 904-256-7863.

"We'll get back to work and keep trying to grind as we head down the stretch with the remaining non-league games before we get ready for the start of A-Sun play vs North Florida on Jan. 10."

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