Women’s hoops survives scare from UNF with 64-56 win
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
Senior guard DaVina Hamilton
Despite leading by as many as 25 points in the second half, the Dolphins had to fight off an enormous come-back attempt by the Ospreys as the JU women’s basketball team held off UNF, 64-56, Monday evening at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

JU (15-10, 11-5), which increased its record to 9-2 Downtown, shot a contest-low 35.7 percent from the floor but connected on 18-of-25 free throws and forced UNF into 20 turnovers.

UNF (6-19, 5-11) dropped its sixth consecutive game to the Dolphins despite winning the rebounding margin (42-36), which led to 13 second chance points, while also outscoring JU 28-14 in the paint.

“This was another tale of two halves for us,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We were in complete control throughout the first half and halfway through the second but we hit a cold spell. They slowly started to build back the momentum and it began to snowball. Fortunately, we stepped up when we needed to and pulled out the win.”

Leading by 25 points (47-22) at the 14:20 mark, UNF outscored the Dolphins 25-0 over the next nine minutes to pull even at 47-47 with a pair of free throws by Kayla Mobley with 4:46 left.

JU would immediately answer with a big three-point play by senior guard DaVina Hamilton (50-47, 4:26) to end the slide. UNF answered back with a jumper by Kim Baker to cut the deficit to 50-49 (4:13) but JU would go on a 9-3 run over the next three minutes to pull away.

Hamilton led the Dolphins with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 shooting from the line. Senior guard Regina Omoite tallied 14 points, four assists and three steals. Senior guard Virginia Gregoire rounded out the Dolphin scoring with 13 points.

Juliemay Syquio led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field and a 4-for-4 effort from the line while also added a game-high seven assists. Brittany Kirkland finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Arlande Cherizol racked up the contests only double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

In the first half, JU put the defensive pressure on early and often as the Dolphins used a 15-2 run to open up a 20-6 lead after a fast-break layup by junior guard Courtney Jackson (7:58). JU increased the lead to as many as 22 points (32-10) on a 3-pointer by Omoite (3:06) as the Dolphins went into the break with a 36-14 lead at the half.

JU will continue its four-game homestand on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Stetson as the Dolphins play their final game at Swisher Gymnasium this season. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV.