Women's Basketball drops heartbreaker to East Tennessee State, 68-61

Jan. 20, 2007

Box Score

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Despite erasing a 19-point second half deficit and holding a late lead, the JU women's basketball team ran out of magic in the final minute as the Dolphins eventually fell to East Tennessee State, 68-61 Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Center.

JU (10-7, 4-3) had its five-game winning streak snapped despite outscoring the Lady Bucs 30-18 in the final 10 minutes of the contest, including a 17-2 run to tie the contest with 2:36 remaining.

ETSU (11-7, 7-1) scored the final eight points of the game, including six free throws, to offset a five-minute scoring drought and hold off the Dolphins' rally.

Leading 61-58 after a three pointer by sophomore guard Regina Omoite with 1:42 left, ETSU cut the margin to 61-60 after a pair of free throws by Kelly Thurman at the 1:25 mark.

After a three-pointer rimmed out by sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire, Brooke Wilhoit rattled home a fall-away jumper from the right baseline to give ETSU a 62-61 lead with 38 seconds remaining.

A JU turnover gave the ball right back and the Lady Bucs capitalized by hitting 6-of-6 free throws to end the game.

"We made a tremendous effort to come back in this game on the road against a very good ETSU team," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "Unfortunately, things did not bounce our way in the final minute."

Junior forward Ashley Williams tallied her ninth career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Courtney Jackson tallied a season-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor, including a season-high 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire added 15 points, including 12 in the second half, while Omoite finished with 11 points to round out the Dolphins in double figures.

Kelly Turman led the Lady Bucs with 16 points and Siarre Evans added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Michele DeVault also added a game-high five steals to go with nine points and six rebounds.

Leading 39-24 at the half, ETSU pushed its advantage to a game-high 19 points (50-31) after a layup by Devin Thompson at the 13:19 mark. After an 8-4 run by the Dolphins to make it 54-39, the Dolphins took advantage of a five minute scoring drought by the Lady Bucs.

JU used a 17-2 run to tie the contest, 56-56, after a fast-break layup by sophomore guard Crystal Ayers at the 3:06 mark. ETSU took a 58-56 lead after a layup by Kelly Turman but the Dolphins evened the score after a pair of free throws by Williams with 2:36 left. Omoite would nail a three-pointer with 1:42 remaining to give the Dolphins their first and only lead (61-58).

In the first half, JU went scoreless for the first three minutes of the contest as ETSU built an early 6-0 lead at the 18:13 mark. The Dolphins used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 8-6 after a jumper by Williams but the Bucs answered with an 11-2 run to make it 19-8 after a three pointer by Evans.

ETSU would lead by as many as 15 points (34-19) with 3:04 remaining but a free throw by Gregoire made it a 36-24 at the break. The Bucs out rebounded the Dolphins 26-16 to fuel a 13 second-chance points for ETSU.

The Dolphins return to Swisher Gymnasium to host Stetson on Thursday at 7 p.m.