Women's Basketball clinches A-Sun bid despite, 76-64, loss to Mercer

March 2, 2006

Box Score

MACON, Ga. - Sophomore forward Ashley Williams scored a team-high 18 points to get the Dolphins within three points with three minutes left but Mercer ended the contest on a 14-3 run to defeat the JU women's basketball team, 76-64, Thursday evening at the University Center.

Despite the loss, JU (9-17, 6-13) still clinched the program's second A-Sun Tournament bid as Lipscomb lossed to Florida Atlantic, 80-61. Mercer (12-14, 9-10) snapped a five-game losing streak in conference play.

Williams finished 7-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line despite playing the second half with foul trouble. Freshman guard Virginia Gregoire tallied 15 points, a career-high seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Senior guard Sheena Carpenter added 14 points and four rebounds.

Trailing 37-32 at the half, JU cut the lead to 44-41 after three free-throws by Gregoire at the 16:41 mark Mercer pushed the lead back to 12 (59-47) on a 15-6 run with 8:10 left before the Dolphins made their final move. As Williams entered the contest with four fouls, JU made an 11-1 run to cut the deficit to 63-60 with 3:08 remaining. But crucial fouls gave the Lady Bears the advantage at the line as Mercer ended the game on a 14-3 run.

In the first half, Mercer jumped out to an early 10-4 lead at the 15:20 mark and pushed the advantage to 20-11 with 10:02 remaining. JU answered with a 5-1 run, capped by a three-pointer by freshman guard Regina Omoite, to make it 21-16 at the 8:36 mark. Both teams went back and forth until the Bears made it 35-26 on a free-throw by Nicole Leonard with 2:34 left. The Dolphins answered with a 4-0 run (35-30) on a layup by Carpenter with 1:51 remaining before Tashera Lewis's layup made it 37-30 (1:01). Freshman forward Kelly Ford hit two free throws to cut the lead to 37-32 at the half.

JU will complete the 2005-06 regular season at Stetson on Saturday at 1 p.m. With a Lipscomb loss, the Dolphins and Lady Hatters will be playing for the seventh seed in the A-Sun Tournament next week in Dothan, Ala.