MONDAY, JANUARY 05, 2009
Women’s hoops blasts USC Upstate, 78-58
Senior guard Regina Omoite
Senior guard Regina Omoite
The Dolphins were clicking on all cylinders as four players scored in double figures and the squad tallied a season-high 18 steals to lead the JU women’s basketball team to a 78-58 win over USC Upstate, Monday evening at the Hodge Center.

JU (6-7, 2-2) snapped a seven game road losing streak and a four game conference road streak by shooting 47.8 percent, scoring 34 points off turnovers including 14 fast-break points. The last Dolphin win on the road was a 61-48 win at Lipscomb on Feb. 9, 2008. JU also posted over 70 points in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

USCU (5-6, 1-3) forced JU into a game-high 26 turnovers and got 31 points from its bench but connected on only 29 percent from the floor.

“This was the first time everyone on the team was on the same page,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “This was a complete effort all across the board and was the second straight game that we have shot over 40 percent. We needed a game like this all year and hopefully this will be what we need to be consistent the rest of the way.”

Junior guard Courtney Jackson led the Dolphins with 16 points after connecting on 4-of-9 3-pointer while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Senior guard Regina Omoite finished with 14 points, seven assists, five rebounds and a career-high six steals. Senior guard DaVina Hamilton added 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a career-high six steals. Junior forward Crystal Grable chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, three blocks and a career-high five assists.

Chelsey Peterson led the Spartans with nine points while Chelsea McMillan added eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

Leading by 12 at the break, JU did not let up by opening the second frame with an 11-4 run to take a 49-30 lead on a jumper by junior forward Lynsey Paschal (16:37). After trailing by as many as 22 points (58-36) at the 12:35 mark, the Spartan pulled to within 12 (66-54) with a free throw by Chelsey Peterson with 4:06 left. JU would take control the rest of the way by ending the contest with a 12-2 run.

In the first half, neither team led by more than three points in the first eight minutes until JU used a 10-4 run to open up a 22-15 lead on a fast-break layup by Hamilton (9:31). Both teams would trade buckets until the Dolphins used a 5-0 run to make it 29-19 with a fast-break layup by Grable (6:43). JU increased the lead to 36-22 with a 3-pointer by Omoite (4:08) but a full court layup by Lesley Daniel cut the margin to 38-26 at the half.

JU will return home to face Mercer on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Swisher Gymnasium. The contest, which was moved up to avoid the BCS National Championship Game, can be seen live on ASun.TV.