THURSDAY, MARCH 01, 2012
Dolphins upset Belmont, 62-58
The Jacksonville women’s basketball team loves the month of March at the University Center.
On Thursday, the Dolphins (11-19) resumed their Cinderella ways at the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, rallying in the final minutes to upset No. 3 Belmont (12-18) in the quarterfinals, 62-58.
Abril Peeples scored a game-high 22 points, hitting a tournament record tying six 3-pointers, leading four Dolphins in double figures as the Dolphins came back from a nine-point halftime deficit.
“I thought our girls showed a lot of heart, passion and fight coming back tonight,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “Abril got the hot hand and everyone fed off her confidence. I thought our defensive pressure really turned up in the second half and did a great job of getting out on their shooters, which we didn’t do in the first half.”
Jacksonville’s defense was the story in the second half. The Dolphins held Belmont to just 7-of-28 shooting, including just 2-of-8 from behind the arc. JU also had a 10-rebound advantage in the second half while catching fire from the floor, going 13-of-25.
Trailing for most of the game, JU slowly cut the deficit, first to six on a Peebles 3-pointer with 15:37 left, then to two on a Ronisha Mitchell layup with 12:58 left and eventually tied the game at 42 on a Peebles layup with 12:20 left.
The Bruins pushed the lead back to six, 53-47, thanks to an Alyssa Visbeen 3-pointer with 8:11 in regulation.
From there, the Dolphins took control – cutting the lead to one, 56-55, on a pair of Jade Cargill free throws with 2:37 left. Jacksonville took its first lead of the game, 57-56, on a baseline jumper by Cargill with 1:22 left.
After a defensive stop, Jessica George reprised her hero role from last year’s tournament run, banking in a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to put JU up 60-56 with 29 seconds left in regulation.
A Belmont turnover led to a Cargill layup and the celebration began.
Belmont got 14 points and 16 rebounds from Haley Nelson and 14 points from Molly Ernst, who hit four 3-pointers.
Belmont got hot early from 3-point land, going 4-of-6, and held the Dolphins to just 8-of-32 shooting to take a 36-27 lead at halftime.
Cargill led the Dolphins with a game-high tying 16 rebounds to go with 11 points. Crystal Bell added 10 points while Jane’l Osborne had 10 points off the bench.
The Dolphins advance to the semifinals for the sixth straight season and will face Stetson on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., with the game being televised on Comcast Sports Southeast.