Women’s hoops falls late at Savannah State, 67-64 (OT)
Senior Crystal Bell recorded 15 points in the loss.
Senior Crystal Bell recorded 15 points in the loss.
The JU women’s basketball team played its best game of the season so far, but came up short in a 67-64 overtime loss at Savannah State on Tuesday night in Tiger Arena.

Sophomore Abril Peeples kept the Dolphins (0-6) hopes alive with a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds, but Ezinne Kalu scored nine of her 27 points in overtime to help the Lady Tigers (4-2) snag the win.

Peeples finished with 11 points, while senior guard Crystal Bell paced the JU offense with 15 points and eight boards.

“We definitely had our chances to put the game away,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We just couldn’t execute on those chances. We have to get better in close games situations and pull the win out.”

The Dolphins finished hitting 7 of 18 attempts (38.9) from beyond the arc and won the rebounding battle for the first time this season, 49-41. Savannah State recorded a 40.7 field goal percentage, while also getting 30 points in the paint.

Despite a three-point play from Bell late in the second half, the Lady Tigers got three straight buckets to take a 58-55 advantage with less than a minute remaining. The Dolphins got a final possession at 9.4 seconds on a held ball, while Savannah State called a timeout. Following the timeout, Peeples dribbled to the top of the arc and then back to her left before hitting the game-tying three-pointer to force overtime.

The Dolphins got within a bucket, 66-64, in overtime on a Bell score, but Kalu hit a free throw to help the Lady Tigers hold off the Dolphins.

Alisha Nelson finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for the Lady Tigers. Jasmine Kirkland recorded 11 points to help the cause.

In the first half, the Dolphins got an early three-pointer from freshman Britany Holliday, but the Lady Tigers capped a 12-1 run with consecutive steals for layups by Kalu for a 14-6 lead (13:24). After a layup by Cargill, Kalu dished an assist to Jazmin Taylor for a layup to make it 16-8 advantage at 12:36. Trailing 28-21 with less than three minutes left, the Dolphins got three buckets from beyond the arc to erase the deficit and take a 30-28 advantage into the locker room. Bell started the rally, while Peeples hit the next two, including the last one in the final seconds, to help JU regain the lead.

Holliday and junior Tracie Sneed each finished with nine points for the Dolphins. Holliday also had four assists in her second start, while sophomore Jade Cargill tallied eight points and 10 rebounds.

The Dolphins play in Jacksonville on Saturday at cross-town North Florida in at 3 p.m. The contest will also count toward the standings of the annual SunTrust River City Rumble battle between the two schools.