Brown, defense lead JU past Vermont
Jade Cargill had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Play Video
Jade Cargill had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman Briona Brown scored a career-high 24 points and the JU defense forced 24 turnovers as the Dolphins beat Vermont 78-67 at Swisher Gym Wednesday.

Brown, from Haines City, Fla., was 7 of 12 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free throw line and led a parade of JU scorers, five of whom wound up in double figures.

Junior Jade Cargill had 12 and Tracie Sneed, Maggie Wilson and Ronisha Mitchell all had 10 for the Dolphins.

After the teams played the early first half evenly, the Dolphins (2-2) went on a 17-4 run to move ahead by 13, 31-18, with 5:44 to go and held a 40-30 lead at the half.

“They’re a good team but I think we surprised them in the first half and were able to build that lead,’’ JU coach Jill Dunn said.

After JU pulled ahead by 19, 60-41, with 8:30 to play in the game, the Catamounts (2-3) put together an 18-7 run to pull to within six at 67-61 with 3:05 to play and against at 69-63 with 2:33 to go.

Brown put an end to the Vermont hopes when she took an assist from Wilson and hit a jumper for a 71-63 lead.

“Briona was huge tonight,’’ Dunn said. “They had that run in the second half, but I thought we were overall pretty consistent with what we did. We forced 24 turnovers and only had 14 and that was important.’’

Vermont’s Lauren Buschmann and Shani Heber led their team with 14 points each.

In addition to her 12 points, Cargill, from Vero Beach, Fla., had 10 rebounds. Both she and Brown recorded three steals.

The Dolphins travel to Jacksonville State (Ala.) for a 3 p.m. game Sunday.