TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2008
Women’s hoops falls short in 58-50 loss to South Carolina
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton tallied a game-high 16 points as the Dolphins made a late rally to pull within three points with less than two minutes remaining but the JU women’s basketball team eventually fell to South Carolina, 58-50, Tuesday afternoon in Colonial Life Arena.

JU (5-6) scored 28 points off of a game-high 26 Gamecock turnovers while only turning the ball over 11 times.

USC (7-5) won the rebounding battle (45-24) and shot a game-high 45.2 percent from the floor.

Trailing 48-37 with 6:53 remaining, JU held USC scoreless for the next five minutes and used an 8-0 run to pull within 48-45 on a jumper by junior forward Desarae Johnson (1:52). The Gamecocks got a put-back by Demetress Adams (1:26) and a layup by Samone Kennedy (43 seconds) to keep the Dolphins at bay while also connecting on free throws to seal the game.

“We were not consistent offensively like we have been in our past two games and that’s what cost us today,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We did a tremendous job of forcing them into turnovers and that is what kept us in the game. Offensively, the plays were there and the opportunities presented themselves but the shots just wouldn’t fall for us today.”

Hamilton led the Dolphins after connecting on 6-of-8 shots from the foul line while also tallying a team-high five rebounds. Junior guard Courtney Jackson added eight points while senior guard Regina Omoite and junior forward Crystal Grable each chipped in with seven points.

Brionna Dickerson led the Gamecocks with 15 points and four assists. Adams (14 points, eight rebounds) and C.J. Pace (13 points, seven rebounds) rounded out the USC scoring while Jewel May added a game-high nine rebounds.

In the first half, USC took advantage of cold shooting by JU to open up a 13-2 lead on a pair of free throws by Jewel May (15:39). The Gamecocks increased the margin to 21-6 with a pair of free throws by Pace (12:28) but the Dolphins held the home team scoreless for the next five minutes to cap off a 9-0 run and cut the deficit to 21-15 with a jumper by Hamilton (6:41). JU cut the margin to 25-22 with a 3-pointer by Omoite (1:33) but USC ended the half with a 3-0 run to take a 28-22 lead at the break.

JU will embark its A-Sun schedule for the remainder of the season beginning at ETSU on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The contest is the first of a scheduled doubleheader with the JU men’s team and can be seen live on A-Sun.TV.