JU drops close one to Kennesaw
JU fell victim to a pair of lengthy second-half scoring droughts and let a 10-point lead slip away in dropping a 66-62 decision to Kennesaw State in an Atlantic Sun game here Thursday.

The Dolphins (9-18, 7-9) came close to pulling the game out when senior Crystal Bell hit a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining and was fouled by Kennesaw’s Chelcey Farrar. That made the score 64-62. Bell missed the free throw which was rebounded by the Lady Owls’ Lisa Capellan who was fouled and made her free throws to end the game.

JU’s second scoring drought started with 5:57 to play with the Dolphins leading 55-49. They didn’t score again until 1:41 remained when Bri Peeples hit a layup off a steal. By that time, Kennesaw reeled off 12 points including a pair of long 3-pointers by Taylor Mills. Peeples’ score pulled the Dolphins to within four at 61-57. She ended the game leading the team in

scoring with 16 points.

“We outplayed them 37 minutes of the game,’’ JU coach Jill Dunn said. “That (the scoring droughts were the difference in the game The last three minutes they did a great job taking us out of our offense and we didn’t respond well.’’

With 1:12 to play, JU’s Crystal Bell scored to get to 61-59, but that was the last of the Dolphins’ point until her late 3-pointer. The Dolphins came out of a 34-31 halftime lead and immediately moved to a 43-33 advantage, their largest lead of the game. Kennesaw (13-13, 8-7) fought back and pulled to within five points twice before both teams went cold.

JU went ahead 47-40 with 16:04 to play and went 5:24 without scoring. Sophomore Jade Cargill broke the drought with a layup and a foul shot.

The Lady Owls weren’t faring much better as they went dry for 4:48.

The Dolphins pulled to a 34-31halftime lead on the strength of Peeples’ 10 points.

JU led by as much as eight in the half, but Kennesaw kept fighting back and closed with a flurry to keep it close. The teams put up 20 three-point attempts in the first half connecting on five.

Even though the loss won’t affect JU’s playoff chances, the team’s were tied in the standings heading into the game.

“It’s not going to kill us,’’ Dunn said. “It stinks when you lead for 37 minutes and don’t win.’’

Bell had 15 points for JU and Cargill added 11. Each had nine rebounds.

Capellan wound up with 13 points, Mills 11 and Farrar and Ashley Holliday 10 each.

JU plays Mercer Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Arena.