Women’s hoops ends skid with 69-64 win over Kennesaw State
Junior forward Crystal Grable
Junior forward Crystal Grable
Junior forward Crystal Grable scored a career-high 13 points and tallied a team-high eight rebounds while the Dolphin defense forced 27 turnovers to lead the JU women’s basketball team to a 69-64 win over Kennesaw State, Thursday afternoon at the KSU Convocation Center.

JU (12-10, 8-5), which increased its record to 4-0 in Kennesaw, shot a game-high 45.2 percent from the floor (including 5-of-10 3-pointers) while also tallying 17 steals.

KSU (9-11, 6-6) won the rebounding battle (41-40) and shot 42.6 percent from the field but could not take advantage of JU’s 7-of-18 effort from the free-throw line in the second half.

“This is a big win for us after a rough week at home,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “It’s important for us to get back on track and we started things off on the right foot today. We made things a little more interesting with all the missed free throws in the second half but we did what we had to do to win the game.”

After an 8-0 run by the Owls cut the their deficit to 61-60 (1:44), JU answered with a 3-pointer by senior guard Regina Omoite (1:24) and a pair of free throws by senior guard DaVina Hamilton (40 seconds) to make it 66-60. With KSU forced to foul, a pair of free throws by junior guard Courtney Jackson made it 68-60 (20 seconds) and put the contest out of reach.

Grable shot 6-of-11 from the field to lead the Dolphins while Hamilton added 12 points and four steals. Omoite added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals while Jackson chipped in with seven points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Greteya Kelley led the Owls with a game-high 16 points and four assists while also added three steals. Gia Lockett added 11 points and three steals while Montinique Nixon finished with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 9-2 lead when Grable connected on a three-point play (17:29) but KSU answered with a 4-0 run to make it 9-6 on a jumper by Britteny Henderson (16:59). The Dolphins increased the lead to 16-6 with a 7-0 run (14:53) but the Owls would cut the margin to 16-11 with a three-point play by Nixon (14:02).

JU used an 8-0 run to increase the margin to 29-17 with a jumper by Grable (7:29) and a 3-pointer by freshman guard Jessica George put the Dolphins up 32-19 at the 6:52 mark. KSU would chip away at the lead and pull to within 40-34 with a put back by Nixon (35 seconds) but a running baseline jumper Jackson made it a 42-34 advantage for JU at the half.

JU will complete its road trip at Mercer on Saturday at 4 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV and is the second of a scheduled doubleheader with the JU men.