SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2010
Women’s basketball rallies but falls to ETSU, 79-70
The home finale was bittersweet for the JU women’s basketball team as the Dolphins fell to ETSU, 79-70, on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun action at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
TaRonda Wiles had 19 points and five assists to help the Lady Buccaneers (20-8, 18-2) claim the A-Sun regular season title. Siarre Evans recorded 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while Tara Davis had 12 points to help the cause.
The Lady Bucs shot more than 40 percent on the floor (44.6) and three-point line (46.7), while hitting 81.5 percent of their free throws (22-27) to secure the win.
“They are a good team,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We had our chances in the first half, but ETSU shot really well to pull away from us. I saw some good things out of our squad and we will build on them as we enter the A-Sun Tournament."
Freshman guard Drameka Griggs matched Wiles by scoring 19 points to lead the Dolphins (9-19, 8-12), while junior guard Gigi Thomas recorded double figures for the second straight game with 15 points.
Trailing 49-36 in the second half, Thomas and senior forward Desarae Johnson hit consecutive layups to pull the Dolphins within nine, but the Lady Bucs pushed their lead back to double-digits for most of the second half. JU cut the deficit to 72-64 with less than three minutes remaining on free throws by junior forward Taneskei Richardson and Griggs. Richardson hit a layup on the next trip down the floor to make it a two possession game, but ETSU held off the last run to secure the win.
Gwen Washington rounded out the Lady Bucs in double figures with 12 points, while Lesha Robinson added eight points.
After falling behind 4-0 in the first half, the Dolphins scored next seven points capped by a Thomas’ three pointer to take a 7-4 advantage (16:26). The lead would be short lived as Robinson hit a three-pointer to cap an 18-4 run and give ETSU an 22-11 lead (7:34). Sophomore Ashanti Williams got the Dolphins back within three (30-27) on a layup with less than three minutes into half, but ETSU closed the frame on 12-5 stretch to take a 42-32 lead into the locker room.
Johnson finished the game for JU with 12 points, seven rounds and four blocks – pulling her two shy of tying Ashley Williams for the all-time blocks record.
The Dolphins are off until next week when they travel to Macon, Ga. for the A-Sun Championship starting on March 3.