Women’s basketball falls on last second shot to Kennesaw State, 71-69
Angie Smith connected on a game-winning shot in the final seconds to lift Kennesaw State to a 71-69 victory over the JU women’s basketball team on Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga.

With the scored tied at 69 in the final 30 seconds, Smith held the ball until the waning seconds before hitting her game-best 21 point of the night to snap the Owls’ (4-12, 1-7 A-Sun) six-game losing streak.

The Dolphins (8-9, 3-5) trailed for most of the second half before eight unanswered points sparked by junior guard Ashanti Williams to tie the game. Williams finished with 13 points for JU, while senior forward Taneskei Richardson added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

“We came out flat in the second half,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We gained momentum at the end of the first half, but allowed Kennesaw State room to get back in it. I like how we battled back, but it was a little late to help us in the end. Overall, we have to put this behind us and start working for Mercer for Monday.”

The Owls did most of their damage in the second half by using an 18-6 run to start the frame to erase a nine-point halftime deficit. They shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to finish with a 44.6 field goal percentage (29-65).

The Dolphins finished with a 45.9 average (28-61) from the floor in the contest, while hitting 10-of-12 free throw attempts.

Trailing 65-57 with less than four minutes remaining, Williams hit both free throws after the final media timeout. She followed by stealing the ball and slipping it to senior guard GiGi Thomas layup to cut the JU deficit in half. Williams carried the Dolphins some more with two more free throws and connected on a jumper to tie the game at 65 all (2:16).

Both teams would trade baskets in the final minutes until Smith nailed her 18-footer with 0.5 second left. The Dolphins called two timeouts to plan for the final full-court, but they had their inbound pass tipped and stolen to take the loss.

The Owls also got 13 points from Ashley Holiday who went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Sametria Gideon added 10 of her 12 points in the second half.

In the first half, Tamasha Bolden had a tip in during an 11-2 Kennesaw State run to give the Owls a 13-8 advantage at 14:14. Ronisha Mitchell answered for JU with two three-pointers to cut the deficit to one, but anther put back from Bolden pushed the Owls lead to 19-16 (11:36). Christine Wylie gave the Owls a 30-29 lead at 6:07 before the Dolphins broke away with a 12-3 run to close out the half. Freshman forward Jade Cargill and sophomore guard Maggie Wilson each had layups in the final two minutes, while Richardson had a three-point play to give JU a 42-33 advantage into the locker rooms.

Mitchell finished with a season-high 10 points, while senior forward Lynsey Paschal scored 10 points as well to round out the Dolphins in double figures.

The Dolphins round out their road trip with Mercer on Monday in Macon, Ga. at 7 p.m.