Women's Basketball holds halftime lead but falls to Mercer, 66-59

Jan. 19, 2006

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore forward Ashley Williams tallied 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals, but the Dolphins could not hold on to a second half lead as the JU women's basketball team fell to Mercer, 66-59, Thursday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (3-11, 0-7) held a six-point halftime lead but shot only 27.3 percent in the second half. Mercer (8-6, 5-2) won its fifth-consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference game by outscoring the Dolphins, 39-26, in the second half.

Williams tallied more than 20 points for the fourth time this season after shooting 8-of-16 from the field. Senior guard Sheena Carpenter scored 15 points to round out the Dolphins with double-figure scoring. Freshman guard DaVina Hamilton grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.

Leading 33-27 at the half, JU led by as many as seven points (40-33) at the 13:08 mark before Mercer used a 14-0 run to take a 47-40 lead with 9:02 remaining. The Dolphins cut the deficit to one, 53-52, after a pair of free throws by Williams, but the Bears answered with a 3-0 run to force JU to foul.

In the first half, JU took its first advantage of the contest (8-7) on a pair of free throws by Williams at the 17:08 mark. Mercer used a 9-2 run to take its largest lead of the half, 16-10, with 12:26 remaining. The Dolphins answered with a 13-2 run, capped by a three-pointer by Hamilton, to give JU a 23-18 lead with 5:30 left. JU went on an 8-0 run to give the Dolphins their largest lead, 31-23, with 1:59 remaining. Sarah Russell hits a free throw with less than a second remaining to make it 33-27 at the break.

JU will return to Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday as the Dolphins face host Stetson on Saturday at 1 p.m. The contest will be the first of a scheduled doubleheader with the JU men's squad, which will host Campbell at 3 p.m.