Women's basketball holds off South Carolina State, 61-58

Dec. 29, 2007

Box Score

ORANGEBURG, S.C. - Senior forward Ashley Williams made history and the Dolphins increased their winning streak to four games as the JU women's basketball team held off South Carolina State, 61-58, Saturday afternoon at the Smith-Hammond-Middelton Memorial Center.

JU (10-3), which is off to its best start in program history, once again won the turnover battle (17-23) and recorded 10 steals in a game for the 10th time this season. The Dolphins did not hit a three-point basket (0-13) for the first time this season.

Williams finished with 11 points and five rebounds as she battled foul trouble for most of the game. Her basket with 10:55 remaining in the second half placed her first on the JU all-time scoring list with 1,186 points. She surpasses Kat Sungy who scored 1,183 points from 1999-03.

"Ashley has worked hard to achieve this record and she is proving to be one the best players in program history," said Dunn. "We still have a lot of season left so I expect her to continue to be one of the most dominant players in our conference."

SCSU (3-8) won the rebounding margin (39-38) and finished with a game-high 14 assists but shot only 35.8 percent from the field.

"We had another sluggish game coming off of a break but we found another way to win," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "It was another team effort by all the players, especially when our defense tightened up at the end of the game. Now we can focus our efforts on conference."

Trailing by as many as eight points in the second half (51-43, 8:17), SCSU slowly scratched its way back into the game and cut the margin to 57-55 on a pair of free throws by Marie Reid with 3:32 left. Williams answered with a pair of free throws with 3:17 left and Brittany Bailey connected on a free throw for the Bulldogs to cut the margin to 61-58 with 1:27 remaining. Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the game as the Dolphin defense sealed the win.

Junior guard Regina Omoite led the Dolphins with 14 points, five assists and four steals. Junior guard DaVina Hamilton added nine points and three steals while junior guard Virginia Gregoire chipped in with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Reid led the Bulldogs with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and an 11-of-14 effort from the charity stripe. Kristin Johnson added 11 points to round out the SCSU scoring.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 13-5 lead after a layup by Gregiore at the 12:31 mark but SCSU answered with an 11-2 run to take a 16-15 advantage on a jumper by Jenell Moore with 7:10 left. The Lady Bulldogs pushed the lead to 22-17 on a jumper by Kristin Johnson with 4:39 remaining but the Dolphins answered with an 8-0 run, capped by an Omoite layup, to lead 25-22 with 2:12 left.

SCSU recaptured the lead, 26-25, with a jumper by Sophilia Hipps with 47 seconds left but a put back by sophomore forward Deserae Johnson with 27 seconds remaining gave JU a 27-26 lead at the break.

The Dolphins, who own the fourth longest home winning streak in the nation (15), will open Atlantic Sun Conference play at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. against Florida Gulf Coast.