WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2005
Women's Basketball Hosts Florida Atlantic on Thursday

Jan. 7, 2005

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After dropping two road contests at Lipscomb and Belmont, the JU women's basketball team will return to Swisher Gymnasium to host Florida Atlantic. The Dolphins (3-11, 0-6 Atlantic Sun), who are in search of their first A-Sun win this season, will face the Owls (6-9, 4-4 A-Sun) on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. JU will then host UCF on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m.

A Look at Florida Atlantic: The Owls enter the contest with an 6-9 overall record and a 4-4 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play this season. FAU is currently riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Georgia State and Mercer at home last weekend.

Chancellor Dugan is in her sixth season at the helm of the Owls program and has compiled a 73-86 record. FAU is led by the combo of junior guard Shontavia Williams and senior forward Jackie Brown. Williams leads the squad with an average of 14.5 points per game, while Brown chips in with 11.9 ppg. Freshman guard Missy Glaser ranks third on the squad with an average of 8.2 points per contest.

In the Last Meeting: Yolisha Jackson led the Dolphins with 14 points, while Rebecca Montz (13) and Sheena Carpenter (12) rounded out the double-digit scoring, but Florida Atlantic outscored the Dolphins 38-27 in the second half en route to a 78-66 win on March 6, 2004 at the FAU Gymnasium.

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: Sophomore guard Nakina Alford tied a program record with 27 points to lead the Dolphins to a season-high 73 points but JU fell to Belmont, 88-73, on Jan. 22 at the Curb Event Center.

Junior guard Sheena Carpenter tied her career high with 21 points while junior forward Ashley Stinson added 16 points.

With the score tied (40-40) at the half, JU held a 43-40 lead after a three-pointer by Alford at the 19:05 mark but Belmont responded with a 7-2 run to take a 49-47 advantage (16:33). The Bruins would never relinquish the lead as Belmont held leads as high as 20 points in the second frame.

In the first half, JU scored 40 points in a period for the first time this season and shot 50.0 percent from the floor, including a 5-for-11 effort from beyond the arc. Alford (19) and Carpenter (14) combined for 33 of the Dolphins' points in the period with each shooting 7-of-9 from the floor (.780). Belmont shot 57.1 percent from the field, including a 4-for-10 total from the three-point line.

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).

Alford's Career Day: Sophomore guard Nakina Alford had her best game as a Dolphin after tying a JU record for most points scored in a contest. Alford totaled 27 points at Belmont on Jan. 22, matching a 27-point effort by Angela Walker against Troy on March 8, 2001. Alford finished 10-of-13 from the field (.770) and 6-of-8 (.750) from behind the arc to lead the Dolphins to their highest point total (73) of the season.

In her last five games, Alford is shooting 41.1 percent from the floor (23-56) and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (13-26).

Injuries Hurt the Post: Injuries have taken their toll on the Dolphins' post players in 2004-05 and the results have begun to show.

Junior center Kara Donnell had missed the first half of the year while recovering from a knee injury in the preseason. After suffering another setback in her first practice, she is out indefinitely.

Senior forward Yolisha Jackson has missed five games since reinjuring her left knee against Mercer on Jan. 6. She is also out indefinitely. The Dolphins have gone 0-5 since losing Jackson.

Blenden In: Junior forward Randa Blenden posted career highs with seven points, 10 rebounds and 28 minutes against Lipscomb on Jan. 20. For her efforts, she earned her first career start at Belmont on Jan. 22.

A reserve most of the season, she has earned more playing time due to her hustle on the floor. Blenden is also a member of the JU softball team.

Carpenter Fills the Net: Junior guard Sheena Carpenter tied her career high with 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor at Belmont on Jan. 22. Carpenter originally set her career-high mark with 21 points against Mercer on Jan. 24, 2004.

Taking Care of the Ball: Through 14 games, JU is averaging 16.6 turnovers per contest, compared to 18.1 by its opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+1.57) is currently second in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Florida Atlantic, who leads the conference, is the only other member to post a positive turnover margin (+3.47). 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: Since leading scorer Yolisha Jackson's injury, three Dolphins have averaged double-figures in points while shooting over 40.0 percent from the floor -- junior forward Ashley Stinson (15.8 ppg, 41.9%), junior guard Sheena Carpenter (14.2 ppg, 40.8%) and sophomore guard Nakina Alford (12.8 ppg, 41.1%).