THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012
Women’s hoops ends road skid at Mercer, 76-65
The JU women’s basketball team ended its 14-game road losing streak with a 76-65 victory over Mercer on Thursday night in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the University Center.
Sophomore Jade Cargill paced the Dolphins (7-12, 5-3 A-Sun) with 21 points and 12 boards in securing the first road win since last January. Senior Crystal Bell also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and posted four steals. Junior Maggie Wilson scored 13 points for the Dolphins.
“I am glad we got our first road win,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We played another good first half. We weren’t as sharp in the second half, but we played hard and found a way to earn the win. Our goal is to keep continuing this momentum as we hit the final month of the season.”
The Dolphins shot 40 percent from the floor in the first half for the second straight contest. JU also went 21 of 25 at the free-throw line, including 11 of 12 makes from Cargill. The Dolphins had 15 steals that set up 23 points off of turnovers.
Briana Williams scored 26 points to lead the Bears (3-16, 1-7) who finished shooting 35.4 percent (23-65) from the floor. The Bears also went 13 of 19 from the charity stripe (68.4).
JU got into foul trouble early in the second half, but managed to a take a 54-41 lead at 12:13 on layups from junior Tracie Sneed and sophomore Madison Scott. Williams took over for Mercer, scoring 11 of the Bears’ next 13 points to cut the deficit to 58-54 with less than nine minutes left. The Dolphins regained a comfortable lead before two Williams’ free throws trimmed the JU lead to 68-63 (1:46). JU quashed the comeback with a Cargill layup and six straight free throws to secure the win.
Sharmesia Smith led the Bears with 15 boards to go along with 10 points. Tabitha Bradshaw finished with five points and four assists in 38 minutes.
In the first half, the Dolphins raced out to an 8-2 lead (17:12) on a jumper by senior Jessica George. Williams scored nine of Mercer’s first 11 points on three-pointers, while a Bradshaw added another three-pointer to tie the contest at 15-all (12:56). Fast-break layups from Cargill and sophomore Abril Peeples along with a three-pointer by Bell helped the Dolphins regain the lead, 27-21, with 8:06 left. Williams got the Bears within three on a three-point play, but sophomore Jane’l Osborne had a layup and three-pointer to push the JU advantage to 29-24 (7:20). The Dolphins ended the frame on a 13-5 run, capped on a Sneed free throws, to take a 42-31 lead at half time.
Sneed had eight points and six rebounds in the win for JU. Osborne finished seven points, while George recorded six points, four boards and four assists. Peeples had six assists and three steals to help the cause.
The Dolphins close the road trip on Saturday against Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga. at 1 p.m.