Women’s basketball hosts FAU in home opener on Wednesday
The JU women’s basketball team will play eight of its next 10 contests at home starting Wednesday against Florida Atlantic in Swisher Gymnasium at 7 p.m.

The Dolphins (0-1), who play Georgia Southern on Sunday in Swisher at 1 p.m., is looking for their seventh straight win in a home opener since head coach Jill Dunn took over the program in 2004-05.

“We are happy to play in front of our fans for the next few weeks,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We pride ourselves in being good at home so we get a chance to do that with this schedule. Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern are good teams that can create some challenges for us, but I’m confident we are up to the task.”

The Dolphins are coming into the matchup following an 82-77 loss to USF in the season opener on Nov. 12 in Tampa.

JU led for the entire first half before the Bulls used a strong second half (shooting 51.7 percent (19-37) from the floor), while fighting off a late rally by the Dolphins to get the win.

Junior guard Crystal Bell posted 21 points and eight rebounds in her first game as a Dolphin to lead five players in double figures. Her point total ranks as the highest debut by a Dolphin in their first game – beating out a pair of 18-point efforts from Katie McDonald (vs. Morris Brown, 11/23/02) and Aisha Stewart (vs. Navy, 11/18/01).

Senior guard Gigi Thomas, junior guard Jessica George and senior foward Taneskei Richardson each finished with 11 points for JU, while senior forward Lynsey Paschal scored 10 points and recorded a game-best 12 rebounds. The Owls (1-1) split a pair of games in their first action at home last weekend. They opened with a 103-48 win over Webber International before falling to Kennesaw State, 65-64, on Nov. 14.

This is the 16th meeting between the two schools and the first since both were members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. FAU has a commanding 13-2 advantage, including bouncing JU from the conference tournament, 74-61, in the last meeting on March 9, 2006. JU’s last win was a 75-69 victory in Boca Raton on Feb. 23, 2002.

The Lady Eagles (0-1) are running the gauntlet before heading to the First Coast on Sunday. After falling to nationally-ranked Georgia on Sunday, they will host Mercer tonight and Alabama on Friday before playing the Dolphins.

Sunday’s matchup will be the third overall meeting between JU and Georgia Southern. The Lady Eagles earned a 76-69 victory in Statesboro in 2006, while the Dolphins recorded a 72-58 win at home to open the 2007-08 season.

Fans can follow both contests through live video streaming on A-Sun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com.