The Lady Bulldogs (4-1) combined for a 17-0 run at the end of the first half and start of the second to snap the Dolphins’ (3-3) two-game winning streak.
Tiara Knotts score 21 points to pace the Lady Bulldogs’ offense, while Fannie Goodwin added 12 points off the bench.
“This was a tough loss,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We didn’t shoot very well and they couldn’t miss in the second half. We have to put this one behind us quickly because we have a tough one Sunday.”
Senior Maggie Wilson posted 14 points (4-6 3pt FG) to lead the Dolphins who shot 24.1 percent (7-29) from the floor in the second half. Senior Tracie Sneed recorded 13 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the second frame with a 10-0 run to push their halftime lead to 37-26 (16:27). Alford broke up the run with a jumper, while Wilson later cut the JU deficit to 49-38 on a three-pointer with 8:50 left. Knotts scored eight points in the next two minutes to quash the JU rhythm and put the game out of reach.
South Carolina State finished the second half with a 50.0 field goal percentage (17-34) and outscored JU, 41-19, to secure the win.
In the first half, the Dolphins grabbed a 14-10 lead (12:27) on two Wilson three-pointers. A bucket by Sneed helped JU extend the lead to 22-17 with 8:57 left, but the Lady Bulldogs answered with a layup to cut the deficit to a bucket. JU went scoreless for more than five minutes until another Wilson three-pointer and free throw from freshman Queen Alford gave JU a 26-19 advantage with 2:07 left. Goodwin scored two jumpers for the Lady Bulldogs, while Cabriel Duren and Knotts each had a layup in the final 40 seconds to give South Carolina State a 27-26 halftime lead.
Alford finished the game with seven points and two assists for JU.
The Dolphins return to South Carolina Sunday to face Clemson at 2 p.m.