Women’s hoops defeats ETSU, 70-44
Senior Crystal Bell scored 18 points in the win for JU. Play Video
Senior Crystal Bell scored 18 points in the win for JU.
A strong start helped the JU women’s basketball team defeat East Tennessee State, 70-44, on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Dolphins (6-12, 4-3 A-Sun) shot 41 percent from the floor (16-39) in the first half to secure their sixth straight home win on SeaBest Seafood “Free admission” day. Sophomore Abril Peeples hit three of JU’s eight three-pointers for 19 points. Senior Crystal Bell had 18 points on 4 of 5 attempts from beyond the arc, while junior Maggie Wilson chipped in with 12 points and four assists.

“This was a good win,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We played well from start to finish with a lot of players contributing. Now, we will have to see if we can use this recent home success on the road.”

Cara Bowling finished with 14 points for the Lady Bucs (4-13, 4-4) who were held to a 20 percent from the floor (14-70) in the loss. The Dolphins had 25 fast break points in the victory and tallied a 59-48 rebounding edge.

In the first half, the Dolphins raced out to a 9-2 lead on a Bell layup less than four minutes into the contest. Consecutive three-pointers by Peeples (12:09) and Wilson (10:59) capped a 17-4 JU run to push the lead to 26-6. A Peeples layup made it a 34-14 advantage with 4:57 left, while a three-point play by junior Tracie Sneed in the final minute gave JU a 41-20 lead at half time.

Sneed finished with five points and seven boards for JU. Sophomore Jade Cargill pulled down a career-best 15 boards to help the cause.

After a slow start to the second half, Bell knocked down a three-pointer and Wilson added a jumper give the Dolphins a 51-28 lead (12:27). Bowling hit a three-pointer to pull the Lady Bucs within 16, but a jumper from sophomore Ronisha Mitchell capped a 13-5 run for a 64-38 advantage (5:03) to secure the win.

ETSU’s Natalie Pickwell had seven points and two steals, while Maria Bond finished with six points.

The Dolphins hit the road starting Thursday at Mercer in Macon, Ga. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.