Women’s basketball falls to Florida, 74-51, at the O’Connell Center
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
In a contest full of rollercoaster runs on each side, the Dolphins ran out of spark in the second half as the JU women’s basketball team fell to Florida, 74-51, Monday evening at the O’Connell Center.

JU (0-1) shot only .235 in the contest, including an icy .121 (4-33) in the second half to tally only 18 points. The Dolphins only trailed in the rebound department, 44-39, beat UF in second chance points (13-11) and forced the Gators into a game-high 24 turnovers.

UF (1-1) shot .537 from the floor, scored 22 points off of 20 JU turnovers and dominated the game in the paint (48-14) and on the break (15-9).

The Dolphins used a 13-2 run in the first half to cut a 19-point deficit to five at the break (38-33) and opened the second frame with a 4-0 run to make it a one point contest (38-37). But the Dolphins could not get over the hump as the Gators slowed the game down and used a 26-2 run to pull away.

“We made a nice run in the first half because we were able to use our quickness and create turnovers,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “In the second half, we lost the momentum, they started to kill us inside and we had poor shot selection. We are a momentum driven team and when we don’t create turnovers and shoot as poorly as we did, it’s hard to compete.”

Senior guard Virginia Gregoire led the Dolphins with 10 points while senior guard DaVina Hamilton added nine points. Senior guard Regina Omoite (8 points) and junior guard Courtney Jackson (8 points) also contributed offensively. Junior center Danielle Gray and junior forward Desarea Johnson each led the team with five rebounds.

Sha Brooks led the Gators with a game-high 16 points, five assists and three steals. Marshae Dotson (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Aneika Henry (12 points, 7 rebounds) each combined to dominate the post. Susan Yenser added nine points on three 3-pointers.

In the first half, UF opened the contest with a 9-0 run, capped by a basket by Jennifer Mossor at the 17:23 mark. The Gators increased the lead to 19-3 with a put back by Henry (15:25) and UF would push the advantage to 24-5 with a layup on a fast break by Sharielle Smith (12:47). After a 3-pointer by Gregoire cut the margin to 28-12 (10:38), UF pushed the lead up to 34-16 with a basket by Dotson with 7:48 left in the half.

At that point, JU would make its move as a 3-pointer by Hamilton cut the deficit to 38-25 at the 2:28 mark. The Dolphins would close out the half with an 8-0 run as Omoite’s 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining made it 38-33 at the break.

In the second half, the Dolphins opened with a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 38-37 with a jumper by Hamilton (18:15). From there, the Gators would seize control of the contest and never let go as UF went on a 26-2 run, which ended with a layup on a fast break by Brooks with 9:48 remaining in the contest to make it 64-40.

The Dolphins will return to the friendly confines of Swisher Gymnasium as they take on Florida International on Thursday at 7 p.m. for their 2008-09 home opener. The contest can be seen live on as part of ASun.TV.