Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JU's Jefferson Breaks Slump; Junior Guard Scores 18 Points to Help Dolphins Dominate Florida Tech

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JU's Jefferson Breaks Slump; Junior Guard Scores 18 Points to Help Dolphins Dominate Florida Tech

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

Neither Jacksonville University basketball coach Cliff Warren nor guard Evan Jefferson lost confidence in the latter's outside-shooting ability after a three-game slump to start the season.

Jefferson rebounded Wednesday, connecting on 7-of-10 shots for 18 points to help lead the Dolphins to an easy 89-60 win over Florida Tech in front of an announced crowd of 1,423 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Jefferson had managed just one basket in 12 attempts before Wednesday and had come up empty on all nine of his previous 3-point attempts. But the junior looked to be in midseason form when he made back-to-back 3-pointers in a 30-second span in the first six minutes of the game. He added a layup seconds later, and his eight-point surge sparked a 19-point JU run for a 24-6 lead that virtually put the game out of reach midway through the first half.

"I didn't lose any confidence in my shots those first three games," Jefferson said. "Coach Warren told me to keep shooting. Eventually, the shots would fall. I just wasn't making the shots before today.

"Once I hit that first one, I felt in the rhythm at that point. My teammates helped me out by penetrating a lot, and I just found the open spot to shoot from. I think the [shooting] slump is behind me now."

Jefferson and Tyrone Curnell both came off the bench. Curnell, who also scored 18 points, made 7-of-11 shots from the floor.

Curnell's six missed free throws in 10 tries didn't meet with Warren's approval.

"We kind of made light of Evan's shooting yesterday in our shootaround," Warren said. "I purposely cut practice short yesterday just so our guys could get a few extra shots here. Today before the game, Evan took a few close shots and got his confidence going, so I thought he would have a pretty good game today. …

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