Women's basketball plays at Niagara on Thursday at 11 a.m.

Dec. 19, 2007


JU vs. Buffalo Game Story in The Buffalo News

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After defeating Buffalo to start the week, the JU women's basketball team will close out its two-game road trip through the northeast this week. The Dolphins (8-3), who are off to its best start in program history, will end the week against Niagara (3- 7) on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Gallagher Center.

JU and Niagara will be facing each other for the second time after the Purple Eagles defeated the Dolphins, 73-69 on Dec. 18, 2006. Niagara is the last team to defeat JU on its home floor as the Dolphins have only dropped one contest in the last two seasons.

The contest can be purchased live through video streaming on Basketball/NCAA/MAAC/Niagara/billnow.asp.

Against Niagara, junior guard Virginia Gregoire tallied a game-high 17 points off the bench. Freshman forward Lynsay Paschal tallied five points, five rebounds and a season-four steals in her first collegiate start. All 10 Dolphins that played in the contest, scored at least one basket...junior forward Deserae Johnson finished with a season-high three blocks.

Williams breaking more records
Senior forward Ashley Williams became the first player in program history to be named preseason MVP after surpassing her own single-season record with 509 points last season. She also became the first Dolphin to earn consecutive first team all- conference honors after tying for the conference lead with an average of 17 points per contest.

The records are continuing to fall for the Jacksonville native and she is poised to end her Dolphin career as one of the top players in the history of the program.

After scoring 14 points in a win over Miami on Nov. 13, Williams joined forward Kat Sungy (1999-03), forward Yolisha Jackson (2000-05) and guard Sheena Carpenter (2003-06) as the only Dolphins to score 1,000 points in their careers. Now that she has surpassed 1,000 points, she takes aim at being the top scorer in program history. Williams is 27 points shy of surpassing Sungy (1,183) on the all-time point leader list. Williams is also leading the A-Sun in scoring with 149 points and 16.6 points per contest.

On the defensive side of the ball, Williams set the career record for blocked shots with one against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 16. She also passed Sungy on the all-time steals list with five against Winthrop on Nov. 24.

JU sets the tone with its pressure defense and this year's squad is setting new standards in the program record book for steals.

Last season, the Dolphins tallied a program-record with 309 team steals, shattering the previous record of 262 from 2005-06. JU also set a single-game record with 17 against Niagara on Dec. 18, 2006, and registered at least 10 steals in 18-of-30 contests.

This season, the Dolphins leap frogged the single-season mark with 21 steals against UCF on Nov. 19 and have tallied at least 10 steals in eight of 11 games. JU is second in the Atlantic Sun Conference with an average of 12.1 steals per contest.

Individually, four Dolphins are on pace to blow up the leader board for career steals this season.

Senior forward Ashley Williams (124) surpassed Kat Sungy for first on the all time list. Directly on her heels are junior guards Virginia Gregoire (121), DaVina Hamilton (111) and Regina Omoite (105). Williams may end her career as the program's all-time leader but she won't hold it for long with the guard trio still ready for another season of thievery.