Women's basketball wins slugfest over UMass, 72-68, at Lady Pirate Invitational

Nov. 23, 2007

Box Score

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Senior forward Ashley Williams moved into second place on the all-time scoring list with a game-high 28 points as the JU women's basketball team defeated UMass, 72-68, Friday evening in the first round of the Lady Pirate Invitational at Minges Coliseum.

JU (4-1), which earned its first win over an Atlantic-10 program in three tries, won the rebounding battle, 38-30 (including 23 offensive boards), and forced the Minutewomen into 27 turnovers. The Dolphins also connected on 13-of-16 free throws.

The Dolphins earned their first win over the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 72-64 win over Miami at the BankUnited Center on Nov. 13.

UMass (2-2) shot 53.2 (25-47) from the field and finished with a game-high 34 points in the paint but the Minutewomen allowed 16 points to JU on second-chance points.

"It took us a little while to adjust to their physical style of play but we made the adjustments," said JU head coach head coach. "Once we adjusted and the intimidation factor went away, we were able to play our game. Our rebounding and free throw shooting were the biggest difference for us in the game."

With UMass rallying for a 65-62 lead with 1:41 remaining, JU answered with a 7-0 run to take a 72-65 advantage with six seconds left. A three-pointer at the buzzer by Kate Mills at the buzzer made it a 72-68 final.

Williams, who surpassed Yolisha Jackson (1,070) for second on the JU scoring list, connected on 10-of-15 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws while also finishing with a game-high 10 rebounds. Williams is now 118 points shy of surpassing Kat Sungy (1,183) as the all-time leader.

Junior guard Regina Omoite finished with 17 points, five assists and four rebounds while connecting on 4-of-9 three pointers. Junior guard Virginia Gregoire tallied 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Sophomore center Danielle Gray added 10 points and six rebounds.

Mills, who got into early foul trouble, led UMass with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Pam Rosanio tallied 20 points and Alisha Tatham added 10 points to round out the Minutewomen scoring. Sakera Young dished out a game-high eight assists.

In the first half UMass took an early 16-6 advantage on a three-pointer by Kim Benton at the 12:32 mark and then increased the lead to 22-10 on a jumper by Whitney McDonald with 8:23 left. JU would come alive with a 16-4 run to even the contest, 26-26, on a pair of free throws by Williams at the 2:26 mark. Another pair of charity shots by Williams gave the Dolphins a 28-26 lead with 1:32 remaining and JU would go into the break with a 32-28 advantage after a put back by Williams with 24 seconds left.

In the second half, UMass tied the game (40-40) on a put back by Tatham at the 13:11 mark but JU answered with a 7-2 run to take a 47-42 advantage after a three by Omoite at the 11:40 mark. UMass would tie the contest five more times and would take its first lead of the second half, 57-55, after a jumper by Young with 6:02 left. JU answered with a 5-0 run to retake the lead (60-57) on a jumper by Omoite at the 5:11 mark but a 4-0 run by the Minutewomen gave them a 65-62 lead with 1:41 left.

The Dolphins will next face Winthrop in the Lady Pirate Invitational Final on Saturday at 8 p.m. Winthrop defeated host East Carolina, 66-61, in the opening game.