TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2006
Women's Basketball stays unbeaten with 61-50 win over UCF

Nov. 21, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Three Dolphins scored in double figures to help the JU women's basketball team earn their first three-game winning streak since 2000-01 with an easy 66-56 win over former Atlantic Sun Conference foe UCF, Tuesday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (3-0) is off to its best start in program history after shooting 45 percent from the floor (24-53) including a 7-of-15 effort from beyond the arc. UCF (1-4), which won the rebounding battle by a 42-31 margin, could not recover from an ugly first half in which the Golden Knights shot 27 percent from the field (8-29). Both teams combined for 58 turnovers as UCF finished with a game-high 30.

The Dolphins' only close call came in the second half when they went scoreless for four minutes to allow a 9-0 UCF run to cut a 16 point deficit to 44-37 at the 8:52 mark. The Dolphins answered with 12-3 run, including six points by junior forward Ashley Williams, to make it 56-40 with 3:44 remaining. The Golden Knights would never cut the advantage into single-digits for the rest of the game.

"We are very excited to be 3-0 to start our season," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "I told the girls we are playing well right now but we need to improve our rebounding and cut down on the turnovers. We have been fortunate that our opponents have not taken advantage of our mistakes."

Williams, who was named A- Sun "Player of the Week" on Monday, finished with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. She also finished with a team-high six rebounds to go along with three assists, two blocks and two steals. Sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire finished with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds while also nailing 3-of-5 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Regina Omoite also added 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half, after connecting on 3-of-6 three-point baskets. The Dolphins also dominated on the break by outscoring the Golden Knights, 14-0, on fast break opportunities.

Kristin Thomas finished with 12 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, five steals and three blocks to lead UCF. Keunta Miles added eight points and six rebounds while Celeste Hudson added a team-high seven rebounds.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after a three by Omoite at the 17:14 mark. UCF answered with a 5-0 run of its own to tie the contest on a jumper by Lashaunda Slade at the 15:20 mark.

JU never led by more than seven points in the contest until breaking things open with a 9-0 run to lead 25-12 at the 7:05 mark. After each team traded baskets, the Dolphins ended the half with a 7-2 run to lead 34-18 at the break.

The Dolphins will play their first contest in the Jacksonville Memorial Arena this Saturday at 5 p.m. as JU hosts Charleston Southern. The contest will be the first of a schedule doubleheader with the men's squad, who will face South Carolina State at 7 p.m.