Women's basketball defeats Mercer, 84-66, in home finale

Feb. 25, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After a tight first half, the Dolphins came to life in the second frame behind 22 points by junior guard Virginia Gregoire and 20 points from junior guard DaVina Hamilton as the JU women's basketball team defeated Mercer, 84-66, Monday evening in the 2007-08 home finale at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (21-6, 11-3), pulls even with its win total from last year, scored 40 points in the paint and tallied 31 points off of 22 Bears' turnovers.

Mercer (4-24, 1-14) is now even in the all-time series with JU (9-9) and has now dropped four consecutive games to the Dolphins.

After being even at halftime, JU used a 6-0 run to take a 46-40 advantage on a layup by junior guard Regina Omoite at the 16:52 mark. The Dolphins found their rhythm and used a 10-0 run, topped off by a three-point play by sophomore guard Courtney Jackson at the 14:06 mark, to make it 56-41 and blow the game open.

"We came out tight in the first half but we picked up our defense in the second period to get our offense going," said JU head coach Jill Dunn. "We made some steals, hit a couple of shots and the momentum started to build for us."

Gregoire, who joined the 1,000 point club with 24 points against Kennesaw State on Saturday, tallied a game-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor (3-of-3 from beyond the arc). Hamilton, notched the third 20-point performance of her career, connected on 6-of-10 shots from the floor, a career-best 8-of-9 free throws to go with seven assists and five rebounds.

Omoite rounded out the Dolphin scoring with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field (3-of-6 from the arc) to go with six assists and two steals. Sophomore center Danielle Gray added nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor.

Kourtney Carter led the Bears with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting form the floor, while Cristin Seymour (14) and TaShera Lewis (12) rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Bears.

In the first half, both teams stayed within three points until Mercer took a 16-10 advantage on a jumper by Seymour at the 12:56 mark. JU answered with a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Gregoire, to take a 19-18 lead with 9:40 remaining. The Bears bounced right back with a 7-0 run, capped by a jumper by Lewis, to take a 25-19 advantage with 7:49 left.

The Dolphins stormed back late with a 9-1 run, which ended with a jumper by sophomore forward Desarae Johnson, to retake the lead (33-32) with 1:35 remaining on the clock. After a 3-pointer by Jackson gave Mercer a 36-33 advantage with 57 seconds left, Omoite answered with a trey of her own with 37 seconds remaining, to make it even at the break.

The Dolphins will next play a crucial contest in the A-Sun standings at Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday at 5 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ASunTV as part of the JU Sports Network.