Women's Basketball downs first-place Belmont, 65-58

March 1, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Dolphins are officially on a roll after defeating first-place Belmont for the first time in 11 tries as the JU women's basketball team set a program record with seven consecutive wins with a 65-58 decision over the Bruins, Thursday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (19-8, 13-4), who also won its ninth consecutive home game, have won 14 of its last 16 games and have taken 13 0f their last 14 A-Sun games. The Dolphins are now 13-2 since Jan. 1 and are in position to capture the No. 2 seed in the A-Sun Tournament with a win over Lipscomb on Saturday.

Belmont (21-6, 15-2) held a five-point lead at the half but shot only 34 percent in the second frame (9-26), while also turning the ball over 19 times compared to only nine by the Dolphins.

"This was the game we wanted because Belmont is the team to beat in the A-Sun," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "We did a good job of coming out strong in the second half and not letting up. They made a couple of runs at us but we were able to answer."

Junior forward Ashley Williams tied a game-high with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-10 effort from the charity stripe to go along with three steals. Sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, while freshman guard Courtney Jackson added 10 points and five rebounds.

Alysha Clark led the Bruins with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, nine rebounds and four steals. Jessica Bobbitt added 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Trailing by five at the half, JU opened the second frame with a 10-0 run to lead 39-34 after a pair of free throws by Williams. The Dolphins increased the lead to 43-36 after a layup by Gregoire at the 14:35 mark.

Belmont cut the advantage to three on two occasions before making it a 51-49 deficit after a three-pointer by Amber Rockwell with 6:47 left. JU answered with an 8-2 run to make it 59-51 on a pair of free throws by Gregoire.

The Bruins would get no closer than seven points in the remainder of the contest as they finished the final six minutes shooting 1-for-9 from the field.

"Even with this big win for our program, we need to finish with Lipscomb on Saturday," Dunn added. "We have worked hard to control our own destiny and now we need to take care of business and head into the tournament with the No. 2 seed."

In the first half, both teams were tight to start the ballgame until JU used a 13-5 run to lead 17-7 after a jumper by Hamilton at the 9:48 mark. Belmont answered with an 18-9 run to take its first lead of the game, 22-21 after jumper by Tereva Moore with 6:06 remaining.

The Bruins pushed the lead to 32-24 on a pair of free throws by Clark with 2:11 left but the Dolphins used a 5-0 run to make it 32-29 on a jumper by Hamilton with 37 seconds remaining. Belmont made it 34-29 at the break when Clark grabbed a loose rebound and got the put back with 10 seconds left.

The Dolphins will complete the 2006-07 regular season and host Senior Day at Swisher Gymnasium against Lipscomb on Saturday at 2 p.m.