Women's Basketball battles for 72-60 loss to USF

Dec. 20, 2006

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla. -

With a 28-point deficit with 7:58 remaining in the contest, the JU women's basketball team used a 26- 9 run to end the game with a 72-60 loss to USF, Wednesday evening at the Sun Dome.

JU (5-6), which fell to USF 98-60 last season, shot 15-for-38 (.395) in the second half, including a 5-for- 11 effort from the three-point line. The Dolphins also held the Bulls to a 7-for-25 (.259) effort from the floor in the second half.

USF (9-2) used a big first half to set the tone in the contest and finished 8-for-16 from beyond the arc and connected on 16-of-24 free throws compared to 7-of-11 by the Dolphins.

Trailing 63-35 after a layup by Nalini Miller, JU used a 16-5 run to make it 68-54 after a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Crystal Ayers with 2:03 left. The Dolphins forced the Bulls into five turnovers and a 2- for-11 effort from the floor in the final eight minutes.

"We played out of control in the first half and we could not find the basket," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "I'm proud of the effort we showed in the second half because we could have easily went through the motions. The intensity and effort that we showed in the final eight minutes is how we should play every time we are on the floor. We need to find that consistency as we head into the second half of our season."

Sophomore guard DaVina Hamilton finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals. Sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire also added 15 points, all in the second half, to go with five rebounds. Freshman center Danielle Gray grabbed 10 rebounds and Ayers snagged a career-high 10 rebounds to go with a season-high six points and three steals. Junior forward Ashley Williams was held under 10 points for the first time this season after finishing with four points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor.

Jessica Dickson and Shantia Grace led the Bulls with 16 points apiece. Racheal Sheets and Stephanie Sarosi (11 rebounds) also added 11 points to round out the USF scoring. Miller finished with a game-high 13 rebounds.

In the first half, USF jumped out to an early 4-0 lead at the 19:05 mark before both teams went scoreless for the next three minutes. JU got on the board when freshman guard Courtney Jackson hit a short jumper to make it 4-2 at the 16:02 mark.

The Bulls would then use an 8-0 run to lead 12-2 at the 14:23 mark after a layup by Rachael Sheets. Sophomore guard Crystal Ayers ended the run with a jumper at the 13:06 mark before USF pushed the advantage to 22-4 with 9:40 remaining after a 10-0 run.

USF would end the half outscoring the Dolphins 22- 17 to make it a 43-21 contest at the break. JU shot 8-for-40 in the first frame (.200) while the Bulls shot a blistering 17-of-35 (48.6), including a 7-for-11 effort (.636) from beyond the arc.

The Dolphins will return to Swisher Gymnasium to face Florida A&M on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.