Women’s hoops hangs on to beat Kennesaw State, 65-60
The JU women’s basketball team used a big first half and held off a late Kennesaw State rally for a 65-60 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play on Friday at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

JU (12-14, 7-10 A-Sun) got a team-high 14 points from GiGi Thomas, who led four Dolphins in double figures.

“We did a lot of good things in the first half,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “Our intensity and execution on both ends of the floor was where we wanted it. We didn’t come out in the second half with that same focus and were fortunate to win.”

Jacksonville opened the game with a 23-2 run in the first seven minutes, with Thomas hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to end the run. That run eventually led the Dolphins to a 25 point lead at one point before going into the locker room ahead 38-15 at the half.

The Dolphins’ defense was the story of the first half. JU held the Owls to just 5-of-29 shooting and forced 15 turnovers. The Dolphins also had a balanced scoring attack as eight different players scored and at least seven had four points in opening 20 minutes.

If the first half was all JU, Kennesaw State owned the second half.

The Owls cut the 23-point halftime deficit to six, 44-38, with 10:01 left in the game thanks to a pair of Chelcey Farrar – capping off a 19-2 run to get KSU back into the game.

The Owls cut the deficit to four on six occasions, but would get no closer as JU held on for the crucial win.

Jessica George had 11 points and a game-high five assists for JU while Lynsey Paschal and Ashanti Williams had 10 points each. Taneskei Richardson scored nine points and pulled down 11 rebounds as well for JU.

The Owls were led by Sametria Gideon’s game-high 21 points and 17 rebounds, with Angie Smith adding 17.

The Dolphins will wrap up their home schedule on Sunday when they host Mercer. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.