SATURDAY, JANUARY 05, 2008
Women's basketball keeps streak alive with 62-58 win over Florida Gulf Coast

Jan. 5, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Despite playing shorthanded, senior forward Ashley Williams scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half while junior guards Virginia Gregiore and DaVina Hamilton combined for 25 points to lead the JU women's basketball team to a 62-58 win over Florida Gulf Coast, Saturday afternoon in each program's Atlantic Sun Conference opener at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

JU (11-3, 1-0), which currently holds the third longest home winning streak in the nation, won the rebounding battle (45-29) and tallied a season-high eight blocks.

FGCU (5-6, 0-1) became the first team this season to win the turnover battle over JU (15-11) while tallying a game-high eight steals.

The Dolphins erased a five-point deficit at the half by shooting 47 percent (14-30) in the second frame while holding the Eagles to 29 percent (8-28). Both teams combined for 13 ties and 14 lead changes in the contest. Junior point guard Regina Omoite missed the contest due to family related matters.

Trailing 46-44 with 6:05 remaining, JU used a 5-0 run to take the lead for good as sophomore forward Desarae Johnson finished a layup to cap the run with 5:07 left. FGCU would tie the contest on two more occasions but used a 4-0 run and held the Eagles scoreless in the final 1:10 to seal the game.

"Florida Gulf Coast is a very good team and they gave us everything we could handle today," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "We had to run the point through committee and the team just wasn't the same without Regina on the floor with them. I am very proud of the way we pulled together as a team and found another way to pull through with a win."

Williams finished 8-of-15 from the floor while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds and three blocks. Gregoire finished with 15 points and eight rebounds while Hamilton rounded out the scoring with 10 points, seven assists and two steals. Sophomore center Danielle Gray added eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Delia De La Torre led the Eagles with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field while also grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Chelsea Dermyer rounded out the double-figure scoring with 15 points and a team-high four assists. Ashley Haegle added five points, seven rebounds and three assists.

In the first half, both teams went through three ties and nine lead changes with JU holding the largest lead of the half (20-14) after a jumper by sophomore center Deserae Johnson at the 9:33 mark. FGCU battled back to take a 27-26 lead on a layup by De La Torre and went ahead 31-26 at the break on a jumper by De La Torre at the buzzer.

In the second half, JU used a 10-2 run to take a 36-33 advantage at the 13:48 mark. FGCU answered with an 8-1 run to lead 41-37 on a 3-pointer by Amanda Pierce at the 10:23 mark. The Dolphins answered with a 5-0 run to lead 42-41 after a free throw by Williams but the Eagles recaptured the advantage, 46-42, with a 5-0 run with 6:05 left.

The Dolphins will host Stetson on Monday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium. The contest can be seen live on ASunTV as part of the JU Sports Network.