Women’s basketball downs Stetson in A-Sun opener, 76-61
The JU women’s basketball team had three players in double-figures to down Stetson, 76-61, in the A-Sun opener on Thursday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena.

Seniors GiGi Thomas and Lynsey Paschal each finished with 18 points to help guide the Dolphins (5-1, 1-0) to their fifth straight win, while junior guard Jessica George added 15 points.

George and Thomas each combined for six of JU’s eight three-pointers, while Paschal added nine boards.

“We found the spark we needed to get the win,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We gave them too many chances to get back in the game, but our team found its stride at the right now. Our goal is to fix our mistakes from today and try to keep the momentum going this weekend.”

JU took advantage of the free throw line after finishing with an 84.2 percentage (16-19). The Dolphins also added 22 second-chance points and won the rebounding battle, 48-34.

In the second half, the Hatters (2-4, 0-1) closed an 11-point gap to a two-possession, 53-47, on a three pointer from a Sasha Sims (6:26). Both teams would trade baskets before a block by Paschal less than a minute later helped spark a 7-0 run for a 62-49 advantage (3:54). Paschal was the catalyst after hitting a three-pointer and a layup on consecutive trips to close the run, while adding another layup with less than two minutes remaining to secure the victory.

Victoria McGowan finished with a game-best 25 points for Stetson, while Sims and Conner each finished with 11 points.

In the first half, Paschal hit a free throw to complete a three-point play and tie the game for JU at 13-13 with less than 10 minutes left. The Dolphins got three-pointers from junior guard Ashanti Williams (6:56) and George (5:54) inside of a 7-0 run to build a 23-15 lead. George nailed another three-pointer and a jumper in the final two minutes to help give the Dolphins a 30-22 at the half.

Williams finished nine points for JU, while senior forward Taneskei Richardson pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds.

The Dolphins round out the weekend against A-Sun leader Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday in the Veterans Memorial Arena at 1 p.m.