THURSDAY, JANUARY 08, 2009
Women's hoops handles Mercer, 78-60
Junior forward Desarae Johnson
Junior forward Desarae Johnson
Five Dolphins scored in double figures as the JU women’s basketball team scored over 70 points for the third straight game en route to a 78-60 win over Mercer, Thursday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (7-7, 3-2) shot a game-high 47.5 percent from the floor (including a blistering 58.1 percent in the first half) while tallying a season-high 12 blocks, winning the rebounding margin (40-30) and outscoring its opponent 20-6 on the fast break.

Mercer (5-7, 1-4) dropped its fifth consecutive game to the Dolphins after finishing with a game-high 23 turnovers which led to 34 points by JU.

Trailing by 11 (48-37) at the 19:00 mark, Mercer cut the deficit to five points on two occasions – the last coming with 12:57 left (52-47). JU would answer with a 22-9 run, capped by a layup by junior center Danielle Gray with 3:13 remaining, to make it 74-56 and put the game out of reach.

“We continued our fluid play and hot shooting in the first half but Mercer battled us to keep it close at the half,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “They were able to keep us out of rhythm to start the second period, but we made some adjustments, and were able to get back on track. Hopefully we can keep this going for a tough game against Kennesaw State on Saturday.”

Junior forward Desarae Johnson led the Dolphins with a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor while also tying a career-high with four blocks. Senior guard Regina Omoite flirted with the program’s first triple-double but fell just short with 13 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and five steals.

Junior forward Crystal Grable finished with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks. Junior guard Courtney Jackson had 11 points and senior guard chipped in with 10 points to round out the Dolphins scoring.

Dominique Chism led the Bears with 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor while also adding a team-high nine rebounds. Natasha Doh chipped in with eight points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 13-2 lead (17:00) after hitting their first six shots to open the contest. Mercer answered with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 13-8 with a jumper by TaShera Lewis (15:25). The Dolphins answered right back with a 15-2 run to push the advantage to 28-10 with a 3-pointer by Jackson (10:49) but the Bears would meticulously chip away at the lead to cut it to 34-25 with a jumper by Nicole Leonard (3:09). After a layup by Omoite made it 42-32 JU with 19 seconds left, Courtney Ford hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with nine seconds remaining to make it 42-35 at the half.

JU will next face Kennesaw State on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Swisher Gymnasium. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV.