Women's Basketball opens the 2005-06 season at UNC-Asheville

Nov. 17, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Brief Preview: After a stunning 56-54 win over Valdosta State last weekend, the Dolphins will open the 2005-06 season in Asheville, N.C. for a two-game series at the Justice Center this weekend. JU will open the weekend against UNC-Asheville on Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. before concluding the road trip against Norfolk State on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.

A Couple of Returners...: Senior G Sheena Carpenter was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Conference Team. Carpenter, who is the first Dolphin to be selected for the honor since forward Kat Sungy in 2001, joins Stetson guard Nefertiti Walker (Preseason Player of the Year), Florida Atlantic guard Shontavia Williams, Gardner-Webb guard Sequenta Blackman and Gardner-Webb forward Shameka Smith. Carpenter, the squad's lone senior, led the Dolphins with an average of 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Her points and assists per game ranked sixth in the Atlantic Sun Conference, while also finishing sixth with a 0.93 assists-to-turnover ratio. Also rounding out the returners for the Dolphins are junior guard Nakina Alford, junior center Talia Johnson and junior guard Jenaire Davis.

...And A Few New Faces: Leading the infusion of youth for the Dolphins this season will be five freshmen and two junior college transfers. During their prep career, the class combined to win three state titles, six regional championships and 16 district crowns, while also combining for a 305-57 overall record. F Kelly Ford (University Christian), G Virginia Gregoire (Deerfield), G DaVina Hamilton and G Regina Omoite (North Miami Beach) and C Precious Robinson (Orlando Christian) make up the incoming freshmen. G Crystal Ayers (Okaloosa Walton JC) and F Ashley Williams (North Florida CC) will join the squad as transfers.

Head Coach Jill Dunn: Jill Dunn enters her second season as head coach of the Jacksonville University women's basketball program after leading JU to its most overall and conference wins in two seasons, despite the loss of their top two post players. No stranger to the Atlantic Sun Conference, Dunn spent the previous three years helping Georgia State to three consecutive A-Sun Conference titles from 2001-04. 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.

The Land of Opportunity: Not only is JU attempting to make a name for itself with its performance on the floor, several former players and coaches have gotten opportunities to advance their careers after spending time with the program. Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, an assistant coach last season with Dolphins, was hired for the same position at Charlotte on May 25. Rebecca Montz and Yolisha Jackson, who each finished their JU careers last season, were hired as graduate assistants at Centenary College and Kennesaw State, respectively.

In Select Company: With senior G Sheena Carpenter's selection to the Preseason all-Atlantic Sun Conference team, she become one of only two Dolphins to ever receive the award. She joins Kat Sungy, the program's leading scorer, who earned the honor prior to the 2001-02 season.

A Look at the Latest Action: Senior G Sheena Carpenter nailed her first career three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give JU a 56-54 win over Valdosta State, in an exhibition contest at Swisher Gymnasium. Down 54-53 with seven seconds remaining, sophomore forward Ashley Williams grabbed the rebound after a missed free throw by VSU's Carley Peterson. After receiving the hand off from Williams with seven seconds remaining, Carpenter drove the length of the court and pulled up from beyond the arc to the right of the key and drained a jumper as time expired.

Taking Care of the Ball: One of the staples of improvement for the Dolphins last season was turnover margin. Last season, JU averaged 17.1 turnovers per contest, compared to 19.0 by its opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+1.89) is ranked second in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Florida Atlantic (+2.14) and Troy (+1.07) were the only other members to post a positive turnover margin on the year. 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 2004-05: 17.1