MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2008
Women's basketball keeps it rolling with 77-60 win over Stetson

Jan. 7, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior forward Ashley Williams tallied 25 points and junior guard Virginia Gregoire tallied her second career double-double to lead the JU women's basketball team to a 77-60 win over Stetson, Monday evening in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (12-3, 2-0), which currently holds the third longest home winning streak in the nation (17), won the battle of rebounds (45-28), turnovers (15-9) and steals (8-2) as the Dolphins were sparked by the return on junior guard Regina Omoite.

With the win, the Dolphins are now 18-1 at home since the beginning of the 2006-07 season (including 11 consecutive home wins against A-Sun opponents), while wining 10 consecutive A-Sun games and a season-high six consecutive contests this year.

Stetson (2-12, 0-2) finished with a game-high 44.1 percent shooting from the floor and six blocks to keep things close during one portion of each half but JU got 15 points off of 15 Hatter turnovers and 19 second chance points off of 17 offensive rebounds.

"Getting Regina back on the floor was a huge lift for the team and we came out energized tonight," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "Stetson never gave up and gave us a little scare in the second half but we got back into a rhythm and played our game. We are proud of what we have accomplished at home but now we need to continue it on the road for the next four games."

After trailing by 11 at the half, Stetson cut the margin to seven points on two occasions with the last one coming at the 9:17 mark (57-50) on a layup by Tierra Brown. JU would pull away for good in the contest by answering with a 14-2 run, which was capped by a pair of free throws by Williams with 5:06 remaining. The Hatters would get not closer than 13 points (73-60) with 59 seconds remaining as JU ended the game on a 4-0 run.

Williams, who has tallied back-to-back 20-point performances for the first time this season, shot 8-of-12 from the floor and hit 9-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line to go along with eight rebounds. Gregoire tallied 17 points (including a 7-for-12 effort from the field), a career-high 15 rebounds and four assists.

Omoite, who leads the conference in turnover margin, finished with 11 points and six assists while not committing a turnover for the fourth time this season. Sophomore center Danielle Gray tallied 10 points and five rebounds while junior guard DaVina Hamilton chipped in with five points, four rebounds and a career-high tying eight assists. Sophomore forward Crystal Grable also added tied her career high with seven points in eight minutes of action.

Jamie Nesbit led the Hatters with 17 points, including a 3-for-6 effort from beyond the arc, while dishing out three assists. Jessica Conner rounded out the Stetson scoring with 10 points to go with five rebounds and a game-high three blocks.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead as Hamilton capped the run with a jumper at the 18:32 mark. Stetson answered with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 9-7 on a layup by Vlendy Roldan with 16:55 remaining. The Dolphins answered with a run of their own (12-2) after Williams made it 17-9 with a layup at the 13:45 mark.

JU increased to the lead to 12 points (28-16) with a jumper by Williams with 9:03 remaining but the Hatters stayed stubborn and cut the margin to five (32-27) on a layup by Conner with 3:56 left. JU would use one last run before the half (11-3) to make it 43-30 on a pair of free throws by Williams (55 seconds) but a jumper by Sharnesha Smith with 29 seconds remaining made it a 43-32 deficit at the break for the Hatters.

The Dolphins will begin a four-game road trip this week at Mercer on Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest can be seen live on www.judolphins.com as part of ASunTV.