Women's Basketball Hosts Georgia State on Saturday

Jan. 7, 2005

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After dropping its 2004-05 Atlantic Sun Conference home opener to Mercer on Jan. 6, the JU women's basketball team will wrap up its weekend at Swisher Gymnasium against Georgia State. The Dolphins (3-7, 0-3 Atlantic Sun), who are in search of their first A-Sun win this season, will host the Lady Panthers (3-7, 1-2 A-Sun) on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 2 p.m. JU will then return to action at Troy on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 9 p.m. EST.

A Look at Georgia State: The Lady Panthers enter the contest with a 3-7 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play this season. Georgia State is currently on a five-game slide and has lost its last two A-Sun games to Mercer (67-56) and Stetson (63-62), respectively.

Lea Henry is in her 11th season at the helm of the Panther program and has compiled a 173-125 record. Georgia State is led by the combo of senior guard Patechia Hartman and senior forward/center April Clyburn. Hartman leads the squad with an average of 14.9 points per game, including a game-high 28 points against Stetson, while Clyburn chips in with 14.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg. Junior guard/forward Monica Thomas ranks third on the squad with an average of 7.3 points per contest.

In the Last Meeting: Yolisha Jackson had a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds, but Georgia State shot 65.0 percent from the floor in the first half, en route to a 75-55 win on Feb. 14, 2004, at the GSU Sports Arena. Rebecca Montz finished with 11 points, while Sheena Carpenter added 10 points to round out the Dolphin double-figure scorers.

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 forward Ashley Stinson tallied a career-high 20 points, but the Dolphins could not overcome an early injury to senior forward Yolisha Jackson as JU fell to Mercer, 65-54, in the Dolphins' Atlantic Sun Conference home opener, on Jan. 6 at Swisher Gymnasium.

With Mercer leading 51-34 at the 8:11 mark, JU used an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 51-42 with 6:13 remaining. The Bears responded with a 6-0 run to increase the lead back to 15 points (57-42) at the 3:39 mark. The Dolphins made their final push with an 11-3 run to make it 60-53 with 1:01 remaining, but Mercer converted on 5-of-6 free throws to seal the contest.

Stinson finished shooting 6-of-10 from the floor, including a 2-for-3 effort from beyond the arc, and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Rebecca Montz recorded nine points and four assists while sophomore forward Talia Johnson added seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

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).

Stinson Steps Up: Junior forward Ashley Stinson made the most of her opportunity to be the focal point of the Dolphin offense after an injury to senior forward to Yolisha Jackson on Thursday.

Stinson finished the Mercer game with a career-high 20 points after shooting 6-of-10 from the field (2-of-3 from the three-point line) and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. She joined senior guard Rebecca Montz and sophomore guard Nakina Alford as the only members of the squad to crack the 20-point barrier this season.

Stinson currently ranks fourth on the squad with 7.1 points per game and is second on the team with a 40.6 shooting percentage.

Back in a Warmer Climate: In its two games prior to Mercer, JU combined to shoot 11.4 percent (3-35) from the three-point line. Individually, senior Rebecca Montz was 1-for-10 (.100) while sophomore Nakina Alford was 2-for-16 (.130) during that span.

Against the Bears, the Dolphins shot 40.0 percent (4-10) from behind the arc with Montz and Alford each finishing 1-for-3 (.333) in the game.

Finding a Way: Despite poor shooting from the outside, senior guard Rebecca Montz continues to rank among the top guards in the A-Sun. Among conference players, Montz ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (1.70) and third in assists (3.80 apg).

Finding a Way Part 2: Sophomore guard Nakina Alford has cooled from long range but has taking her game to the rack as her free-throw attempts have increased dramatically.

Through the first six games of the season, Alford had posted a 6-for-6 effort at the charity stripe while connecting on 14-of-42 (.333) three-point attempts.

In the last three contests, Alford is 12-for-13 from the line and 5-of-22 (.227) from beyond the arc.With her increased attempts, Alford now ranks third in the A-Sun with a .947 free-throw percentage.

Taking Care of the Ball: Through 10 games, JU is averaging 17.8 turnovers per contest, compared to 20.0 by its opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+2.20) currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference. Florida Atlantic is the only other member of the conference to post a positive turnover margin (+1.80). 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: JU has finished with more turnovers than its opponent on only one occasion this season (South Carolina).