Milwaukee guard Brock Stull’s night looked like it might be over when he landed awkwardly after attempting a 3-pointer about a minute into Tuesday night’s game.
Instead, he returned to lead a surge that sent Jacksonville to another frustrating home loss early this season.
Stull hit a pair of shots from behind the arc as part of a 16-2 run that spanned both halves, and the visiting Panthers did enough to hold on for a 62-52 victory over the Dolphins at Swisher Gymnasium.
“You don’t really know what to think so you think the worst,” Stull said of his initial reaction. “Right away, that’s what I did. Later on, when I got it straightened out, I knew it was going to be something like a bruise.”
Stull finished his gutty performance with 12 points, while Jeremiah Bell had 14 for the Panthers (6-3), who left the Dolphins feeling bruised after dropping their third home game in four tries this season.
JD Notae scored a game-high 15 points, and Jace Hogan added 11 for the Dolphins (3-7), who continue to struggle with too many turnovers and missed shots.
Jacksonville was a pedestrian 21 of 55 (38.2 percent) from the floor and had a scoreless stretch of 4:26 in the first half. The Dolphins also had 13 turnovers and were outrebounded 38-30.
“We can’t start the second half in the hole we did,” Jacksonville coach Tony Jasick said. “We’re not going to score enough to dig ourselves out of a hole.”
Despite those issues, Jacksonville cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-43 with 8:31 remaining when Devin Harris found Jalyn Hinton for a big-time alley-oop. The Dolphins got the ball back with a chance to make it a one-possession game, but Notae missed a shot near the rim.
Stull knocked in a 3-pointer to push the Panthers’ lead back to nine points. He connected on another to answer a jumper from Hogan, part of an effort that was more effective than overwhelming.
Hogan missed a pair of free throws with 3:19 left in the second half and his team trailing 55-47 but continues to be a nice addition for the Dolphins.
Hogan has scored in double figures in all eight games in which he has appeared, bringing consistent offense to a group that desperately needs it. The problem is finding other sources.
Jacksonville squandered an opportunity to build a bigger lead when Stull, who is Milwaukee’s leading scorer, was helped to the locker room by several teammates.
And now the Dolphins must gather themselves quickly in search of answers.
“Right now,” Jasick said, “offensively, we’re hard to watch.”
Phillip Heilman: (904) 359-4063