SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2008
Women's basketball makes it seven straight with 74-60 win over Mercer

Jan. 12, 2008

Box Score

MACON, Ga. - Senior forward Ashley Williams scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the second half while three other Dolphins scored in double figures to lead the JU women's basketball team to a 74-60 win over Mercer, Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the University Center.

JU (13-3, 3-0), which has won seven consecutive games, shot 46.2 percent from the floor, won the turnover battle (23-10) and tallied a game-high 13 steals in the contest. The Dolphins also scored 34 points in the paint, 22 points off of Bears' turnovers and had 10 fast-break points.

The Dolphins are have now won 11 consecutive games against A-Sun opponents, five consecutive road games against conference opponents and four consecutive games on the road. JU, which earned a vote in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 Poll, also holds the second longest winning streak in the nation (17) after Texas A&M lost to Baylor last night.

Mercer (3-12, 0-2) won the battle of the boards (40-38) and connected on 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc but dropped it third consecutive game to the Dolphins.

After leading by as many as 16 points in the second half, Mercer used a 15-4 run to cut the lead to 59-54 with 8:23 remaining in the game. JU answered with an 8-2 run to withstand Mercer's final run and seal the game.

"We did a lot of great things in the first half but Mercer got back into the game with their outside shooting," JU head coach Jill Dunn said. "They gave us all we could handle in the second half but we made plays and relied on our defense to pull out another road win."

Williams tallied her third consecutive 20-point performance by shooting 10-of-13 from the floor to go with seven rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Virginia Gregoire tallied 15 points, six rebounds, a game-high five assists and a career high tying five steals (which moved her past Williams on the career list).

Junior guard DaVina Hamilton finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Regina Omoite rounded out the Dolphin scoring with 10 points while not committing a turnover for the second consecutive game and the fifth time this season. Sophomore forward Crystal Grable tallied four points, five rebounds and a career-high tying three steals.

LaToya Jackson led the Bears with 23 points, including a 6-of-8 effort from beyond the arc. Sarah Russell tallied 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor while TaShera Lewis rounded out the Mercer scoring with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

In the first half, each team opened with a flurry until JU used a 5-0 run to take a 17-9 advantage at the 13:45 mark. The Dolphins increased the margin to 25-14 on a three-point play by sophomore center Danielle Gray with 10:43 remaining and then used an 11-4 to make it 36-18 after a mid-court steal and layup by Gregoire with 7:37 left.

Mercer came back in a flurry thanks to four first half 3-pointer by Jackson and a 3:19 scoring drought by the Dolphins as the Bears used an 11-2 run, capped by a three-point play by Nicole Leonard at the 2:38 mark, to make it 40-32. JU would end the half on a 6-2 run to take a 46-34 lead at the break.

The Dolphins will end the weekend against Kennesaw State on Monday at 7 p.m. in the KSU Convocation Center. The contest can be seen live on ASunTV as part of the JU Sports Network.