Women's Basketball Hosts Navy on Saturday

Dec. 16, 2004

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After earning its second road victory of the 2004-05 season with a win over Bethune-Cookman, the JU women's basketball team will play its first home contest at Swisher Gymnasium this weekend against Navy. The Dolphins (2-4, 0-2 Atlantic Sun), who played their first six games on the road, will host the Midshipmen (2-4, 0-0 Patriot) on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m.

A Look at Navy: The Midshipmen enter the contest with a 2-4 overall mark and have yet to play a Patriot League contest this season. Navy has dropped two of its last three contests but ended a two-game skid with a 72-42 victory over Providence on Dec. 10 at Alumni Hall.

Tom Marryott is in his second season at the helm of the Navy program after serving as an assistant for the men's program from 1998-2003. The Mids are led by the front court of sophomore forward Carly Meyer, senior forward Nikki Curtis and sophomore forward/center Kate Hobbs. Meyer leads the squad with an average of 12.2 points per game, including a .471 (8-17) three-point percentage, while Curtis (11.5) and Hobbs (10.0) round out the Navy low-post threat.

In the Last Meeting: Yolisha Jackson hit a pair of free-throws with 2.7 second remaining to help the Dolphins rally for a 75-73 win over Navy on Dec. 8, 2002 in Alumni Hall. Katie McDonald hit a three-point shot with 44 seconds left to even the contest at 73-73. Kat Sungy recorded a steal on the Mids' next possession, allowing Jackson to draw a foul with the clock winding down. 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: Junior guard Sheena Carpenter finished with a team-high 14 points while three other Dolphins scored in double-figures to lead JU to a 65-62 win over Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 11 at Moore Gymnasium.

With the Lady Wildcats leading 60-59 with 2:15 remaining, Carpenter made two free throws to give the Dolphins a 61-60 advantage. Bethune-Cookman regained the lead, 62-61, after a pair of free throws by Sarah Johnson with 1:42 remaining, but JU took the lead for good when senior forward Yolisha Jackson nailed a 15-footer from the right baseline at the 1:21 mark.

After Carpenter made another pair of free throws to make it 65-62 with 27 seconds left, Katie Clark missed a three-pointer from the right wing to end the game.

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).

A National Threat: Senior guard Rebecca Montz has been lighting up opposing baskets from beyond the arc, but she is also making her teammates successful with her passing ability.

Among A-Sun players, Montz ranks second in three-pointers per game (2.67), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.542), ninth in field-goal percentage (.481) and 10th in scoring (12.0). Her three-point percentage and three-pointers per game average also ranks her tied for 15th and tied for 29th, respectively, in the national rankings.

Along with scoring from the perimeter, Montz is one of the A-Sun's best point guards by ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (1.71) and tied for second in assists (4.00 apg).

Against Bethune-Cookman, Montz finished with nine points (3-of-8 from behind the arc) and a season-high seven assists.

La Femme Nakina: Sophomore guard Nakina Alford has quietly developed into another deadly assassin for the Dolphins from the outside.

In four games as the team's sixth-man, Alford averaged 9.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and .304 (7-23) shooting from behind the three-point line.

Since joining the starting lineup on Dec. 4 at Campbell, Alford has averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and is shooting .368 (7-19) from behind arc.

She currently ranks fifth in the A-Sun with with an average of 2.33 three-pointers per contest.

Model of Consistency: Senior forward Yolisha Jackson continues to rack up double-digits in the scoring column as she climbs her way up the Dolphin record book.

Jackson joined Kat Sungy as only the second Dolphin to break the 1,000-point barrier, when she hit her first basket against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 29. She has also tallied double-digits scoring efforts in 12 consecutive contests, dating back to Feb. 14, 2004.

Jackson needs 151 points and eight steals to surpass Sungy as JU's all-time leading scorer and steal leader.

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 16.5 turnovers per contest, compared to 18.0 by its opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+1.50) 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: Prior to her season-high 12 points against Bethune-Cookman, sophomore forward Talia Johnson was averaging 1.6 points per game.