Women’s basketball falls to ETSU, 69-62
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A strong performance by Tara Davis helped ETSU down the JU women’s basketball team, 69-62, in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Arena.

Davis paced the Lady Bucs (8-8, 5-2 A-Sun) with 28 points after going 14-of-18 at the free throw line and recording four assists. ETSU finished 25-of-30 at the charity stripe in the game (83.3) which is the Dolphins (7-8, 2-4) fifth opponent to hit 20 or more free throws in the last eight contests.

“We just couldn’t get it done today,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “I thought we played extremely hard, but they are a good team and outlasted us in the end. We need to work on sustaining some of the positives we had today into our game on Monday.”

Senior forward Taneskei Richardson had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Dolphins, who finished shooting 32.4 percent from the floor (24-74). Junior guard Crystal Bell provided 12 points and three steals off the bench in the loss.

Trailing by six in the second half, senior guard GiGI Thomas squared up a three-pointer to cut the JU deficit to 47-44 with less than eight minutes remaining. Natalie Pickwell pushed the ETSU lead back to six less than a minute later, 52-46, on a three-pointer. Richardson made it a 56-51 deficit at 4:35 for JU after connecting on a layup and free throw during a three-point play.

The Dolphins cut the lead to five points twice in the final four minutes on scores from Bell and Richardson, but ETSU hung on with free throws to secure the win.

Destiny Micthell added 13 points for the Lady Bucs, while Gwen Washington scored seven points off the bench.

In the first half, Pickwell hit a three-pointer to cap an 11-2 run for a 15-6 lead at 14:56. Richardson helped close the JU gap with two layups in the paint, while Bell converted a steal on an ETSU defensive rebound for a layup. Junior guard Ashanti Williams followed it up with a three-pointer in the left corner to tie game at 15 with 10:50 left in the first half. The Dolphins closed their 17-2 run with Bell connecting on a layup and two free throws for 23-l7 lead (7:59). The Lady Bucs later tied the game at 30 with Davis hitting free throws in the final minute. Senior Lynsey Paschal almost put the Dolphins back up with a shot on the baseline as the buzzer, but she missed to leave the game tied at half time.

Thomas finished 10 points to round out the JU players in double-figures, while Paschal had nine points. Freshman guard Ronisha Mitchell tallied seven points for the Dolphins.

The Dolphins return to action on Monday against USC Upstate in Swisher Gymnasium.