Women's hoops uses strong second half to surge past Kennesaw State, 74-57

Feb. 17, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After a sluggish first half, the Jacksonville women's basketball team came out with authority in the second half to breeze past Kennesaw State, 74-57, in Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday afternoon.

DaVina Hamitlon scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half, while Ashley Williams added 11 of her game-high 26 in the second stanza to pace the Dolphins (16-8, 9-4 A-Sun) to their eighth straight home win.

Kennesaw State (11-14, 7-8 A-Sun) was led by Stephanie Scearce's 17 points and 11 rebounds as only two Owls scored in double figures.

"We did a much better job in the second half of taking care of the basketball and finishing plays," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "We did a good job defensively of forcing turnovers and taking advantage of those extra opportunities."

The Dolphins forced 26 turnovers in the game, 17 coming in the second half, and cashed them in for 29 points. JU also dominated the Owls inside the paint, scoring 48 points.

Williams' play inside was a big part of the paint scoring for JU. She picked up her 13th double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 10-of-17 from the floor.

Hamilton caught fire in the second half, going 7-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

Virginia Gregoire joined the duo in double figures with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Regina Omoite led the Dolphins with nine assists.

"This was a complete team win because everyone contributed when we needed them to," Dunn said. "The players coming off the bench played with as much intensity as the players that started and that helped us set the tempo that we wanted."

With the game tied at 33 to start the second half, the Dolphins were able to score first in the second half and held a 43-39 lead with 16:13 remaining in the game.

Over the next six minutes, JU took control of the game. The Dolphins went on a 16-0 run, with Hamilton scoring 11 points during the run - including two 3-pointers, that gave JU a 59-39 lead with 10:29 left.

The Owls were never able to get back into the game, getting as close as 13 with five minutes left, but the Dolphins were not to be denied their fourth straight win.

The first half saw JU open the game on fire, hitting seven of its first 10 shots to take a 17-4 lead in the first five minutes. The Owls answered with a 19-3 run to take a 23-20 lead, and two teams jockeyed the lead back-and-forth until Desarae Johnson's two free throws with 28 seconds left sent the two teams into the intermission tied at 33.

The Dolphins are off until Thursday when they hit the road to face Mercer. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.