Women’s hoops battles but falls at Georgia Southern, 52-46
Sophomore Abril Peeples was one of two JU players with 14 points
Sophomore Abril Peeples was one of two JU players with 14 points
Georgia Southern fought off a late run by the JU women’s basketball team to secure a 52-46 victory in non-conference action on Wednesday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.

The Lady Eagles (3-8) opened the second half on a 13-2 run to set up the victory, while Samantha Williams scored 18 points on 8 of 11 attempts to help the cause. Meredyth Frye scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half.

“This was a tough loss,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We can out a little flat again to start the second half, but I am really happy with the way our team fought their way back. We are ready for break so we can rest up before getting back on the court for our final non-conference game next week.”

Following an 11-2 Dolphins (1-10) run, Ro-Ro Smith nailed a three-pointer for Georgia Southern with a second left on the shot clock to quiet the surge for a 45-37 lead (7:39). Junior Tracie Sneed pulled the Dolphins with five on two free throws and a jumper, while a three-point play by senior Crystal Bell made it a 50-46 deficit with 1:11 left. After the Lady Eagles made free throw with 10 seconds left, the Dolphins were whistled for an offensive foul on the next possession to quash their comeback.

Bell and sophomore Abril Peeples each paced the Dolphins with 14 points. Sneed finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. The Dolphins won the rebounding battle, 41-38, and shot 34.5 percent from the floor (19-55).

In the first half, Peeples knocked down consecutive jumpers in the lane to tie the contest at 11-11 (10:07). The Lady Eagles took an 18-16 lead at after Williams recorded seven straight points. Bell tied the game by stealing an inbound pass for a layup, but Ro-Ro Smith hit a three-pointer to push the Georgia Southern advantage to 21-18 with less than three minutes remaining. Frye added a layup in the final seconds to erase two Peeples’ buckets and give the Lady Eagles a one-point lead, 23-22, at half time.

The Dolphins will be on an eight-day break before returning to action on Dec. 29 against South Carolina State in Swisher Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.