Women's Basketball Heads to Bethune-Cookman

Dec. 10, 2004

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After a heartbreaking loss on the road to Campbell last weekend, the JU women's basketball team will complete the non-conference portion of its schedule with four games (two home, two road) in the next three weeks. The Dolphins (1-4, 0-2 Atlantic Sun) will begin their stretch at Bethune-Cookman (1-3, 1-1 MEAC) on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium.

A Look at Bethune-Cookman: The Wildcats enter the contest with a 1-3 overall mark and a 1-1 record in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. Bethune-Cookman earned its first conference win with a 61-56 victory over Norfolk State on Dec. 6 at Echols Hall. The Lady Wildcats opened MEAC play with a 77-65 loss to Hampton on Dec. 4 at the HU Convocation Center.

Francis Simmons is in her first season at the helm of the Lady Wildcat program. Bethune-Cookman is led by the backcourt of sophomore guard Jessica Stephens and junior point guard Katie Clark. Each player is averaging 14.0 points per contest while also combining for 7.5 assists. Sophomore forward Samantha Schlaegel is also averaging double-digits for the Lady Wildcats (10.8 ppg) while senior guard Sarah Johnson leads the squad with an average of 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game.

In the Last Meeting: Four Dolphin players scored in double-figures and sophomore forward Kat Sungy tallied a career-high 18 rebounds to lead JU to a 69-66 overtime win over Bethune Cookman at Swisher Gymnasium on Nov. 22, 2000. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 1-1.

Head Coach Jill Dunn: Jill Dunn is in her first season as head coach of the Jacksonville University women's basketball program. No stranger to the Atlantic Sun Conference, Dunn spent the past three years helping Georgia State to three consecutive A-Sun Conference titles from 2001-04. A former NCAA Division I head coach and player, Dunn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to JU as she becomes just the second head coach in program history.

Before joining Georgia State, Dunn was the top assistant coach at Miami University (Ohio), Ohio during the 2000-01 season. Prior to her one-year stint in Miami, Dunn served as the head coach at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., from 1998-00. In her final season with the program, the Lady Catamounts posted 12 wins which was the most in 15 seasons at WCU and the most ever by a second-year head coach in the Southern Conference. Prior to being elevated to the head spot at Western Carolina, she was the top assistant coach during the 1997-98 campaign. Dunn's coaching career began at the University of South Carolina, where she was as an assistant coach from 1994-97.

Dunn's success began as a player at Georgia Southern, where she was a three-year starter from 1989-93. She earned Second-Team All-Southern Conference honors and led the Lady Eagles to the SoCon Tournament championship game and a berth in the NCAA Tournament as a senior.

Dunn earned her first victory as the Dolphins' head coach with a 61-52 win over Birmingham-Southern on Nov. 21.

A Look at the Latest Action: Senior guard Rebecca Montz scored a career-high 25 points, while senior forward Yolisha Jackson added 11 points and 12 rebounds, but Campbell's Letita Dickson hit three free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining to give the Lady Camels a 64-63 Atlantic Sun Conference win over the Dolphins at Carter Gymnasium on Dec. 4. Dickson was fouled while attempting a three-pointer with under a second left in the contest.

Three consecutive free throws by Montz put the Dolphins ahead 61-58 with 30 seconds remaining but Campbell's Amber Graham converted on a pair of free throws to make it 61-60 with 18 seconds left. After trading free throws to give the Dolphins a 63-61 lead, Dickson was fouled from behind the three-point line with less than a second remaining.

Winning Reputations: First-year head coach Jill Dunn and assistants Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick and Andrea Williams have a combined average of 31 years in age, but their 22 years of coaching experience easily makes up for that. The trio has accounted for six conference titles, four NCAA Tournament appearances and two recruiting classes ranked nationally by the All-Star Girls' Report.

In comparison, the Dolphins have only been in existence for five years and have qualified for postseason play one time (1999-00).

Even Sharper Shooting: Senior guard Rebecca Montz has been lighting up opposing baskets and is on pace to rewrite the JU record books from beyond the arc.

She currently holds the program record for career three-point field goal percentage with .360 (59-164) and ranks third with 59 three-pointers in her career. Montz also sits atop the single-season record book with a 54.2 shooting percentage (13-24) from behind the arc.

Among A-Sun leaders, Montz ranks tied for second in three-pointers per game (2.60), third in three-point field-goal percentage (.542) and fifth in field-goal percentage (.500).

Along with scoring from the perimeter, Montz is also taking care of the ball as the squad's point guard by ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (+1.55) and sixth in assists (3.40) in the conference.

Alford Makes a Start: Sophomore guard Nakina Alford earned her first career start against Campbell last Saturday after serving as the team's sixth-man in the last four games .

Against the Lady Camels, Alford finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal as the Dolphins tallied their highest point total of the season with 63.

In four games off the bench, Alford averaged 9.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

She is currently second on the squad with 10 three-pointers (2.0 tpg) and nine steals (1.8 spg) on the season.

Stinson Making Strides: Junior forward Ashley Stinson has also made her way into the starting lineup in the past two games.

In two starts, Stinson has averaged 6.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game, including a nine point, nine rebound performance at Campbell.

She earned the starting nod after tallying her first double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) at South Carolina on Nov. 27.

Taking Care of the Ball: The Dolphin coaching staff has emphasized taking care of the ball in 2004-05 and the results are proving that mantra.

Through five games, JU is averaging 17.4 turnovers per contest, compared to 18.6 by its opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+1.20) currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The following is the average turnovers per contest in JU history: 1999-00: 25.1 2000-01: 23.3 2001-02: 28.2 2002-03: 25.7 2003-04: 19.7

Dolphin Notables: Senior forward Yolisha Jackson has scored at least 10 points in every game this season. She is also 162 points and 12 steals from surpassing Kat Sungy in the progam career record book...Saturday's game will end the Dolphins' seven-game road stand.