Women's basketball holds off Kennesaw State, 61-53, to extend streak

Jan. 14, 2008

Box Score

KENNESAW, Ga. - Senior forward Ashley Williams tallied her fourth-consecutive 20-point performance, junior guard Regina Omoite racked up her first career double-double and the Dolphins defense was at their best as the JU women's basketball team defeated Kennesaw State, 61-53, Monday evening in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the KSU Convocation Center.

JU (14-3, 4-0), which extended its winning streak to eight games, held the Owls to 27.7 shooting (18-65) in the contest, including a 19.4 percent performance (6-31) in the first half. The Dolphins finished with 34 points in the paint and had a 12-2 advantage on fast break points.

The Dolphins have now won 12 consecutive games against A-Sun opponents, six consecutive road games against conference opponents and five 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.

KSU (7-8, 2-1) became only the second team to win the turnover battle against the Dolphins this season (19-14), tallied more steals (9-6) and had 13 second-chance points.

Trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half (11:54), KSU slowly crawled its way back into the contest and pulled to within 51-46 on a three-point play by Britteny Henderson with 5:08 left. JU would never panic as the Dolphins connected on their free throws (10-12) to pull out the win.

"Our defense was swarming in the first half and we made KSU take a lot of tough shots," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "Offensively, we did some good things but they took away the inside in the second half and we had to rely on our free throws to pull out the win."

Williams finished with 20 point on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor while junior guard Virginia Gregoire tallied 13 points. Omoite finished with 10 points, including 6-of-6 free throws in the last two minutes, to go with a career-high 10 rebounds and seven assists. Junior DaVina Hamilton chipped in with nine points, five assists, four rebounds and a game-high three steals.

Henderson led the Owls with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor. Nikki Gurley racked up 11 points while Greteya Kelley finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 9-2 lead on a free throw by Gregoire at the 14:11 mark as the Dolphins held the Owls to only two field goals in the first 12 minutes. The Dolphins increased the lead to 16-7 on another free throw by Gregoire (9:01) before making it a 24-14 lead on a jumper by Williams with 3:17 remaining. A layup by sophomore guard Crystal Grable increased the margin to 29-17 (1:27) but a basket by Bullock with 40 seconds left made it a 29-19 contest at the break.

The Dolphins will next face cross-town rival North Florida for a valuable barrel point in the SunTrust River City Rumble on Saturday at 1 p.m. in UNF Arena. The contest can be seen live on ASunTV as part of the JU Sports Network.