Women’s hoops hosts Jacksonville State Thursday
The JU women’s basketball team is home for the first time in a month Thursday to host former A-Sun foe Jacksonville State at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Arena.

This will be the first home contest for the Dolphins (0-8) since their loss to Hampton on Nov. 19. It’s also the first home game of the season for JU in the downtown arena, where its holds an 18-10 record since 2006-07.

“We are happy to be playing at home,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “Now we have to step up and protect our home court.”

Last time out, the Dolphins dropped an 83-53 decision at Bowling Green State Sunday to round out their five-game road trip. The loss tied them with the inaugural 1999-00 team for the worst start in school history. Junior Tracie Sneed had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Dolphins, while senior Crystal Bell had 10 points off the bench. Sophomore Jade Cargill finished with eight points and nine rebounds for JU and Sophomore Ciara McLee got hot late to finish with seven points.

Despite the record, the Dolphins will be happy to be back at home. In only two home contests, the Dolphins sport a better shooting percentage at .348 than they do on the road (.257).

The Gamecocks (3-6) broke a three-game losing streak by downing Troy, 65-54, on Dec. 4 in their last contest before finals. Destiny Lane leads the Gamecocks with 12.8 points and is second in steals with 13. Danielle Vaughn is second in scoring (10.7), while Briana Morrow paces Jacksonville State in rebounds with a 7.8 average.

This is the first meeting between the schools since the 2001-02 season, with Jacksonville State owning a 7-1 advantage. The Gamecocks earned a 64-51 win on Feb. 13, 2002 in the last game between them. The Dolphins lone win came at home on Feb. 15, 2001 (58-50).

Following the JU game, the Dolphins will back out of town for two road contests before the holiday break. They play East Carolina Sunday at 1 p.m. as part of the Carolinas Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It will be the first neutral site game against a non-conference opponent since battling SMU and IUPUI in 2008 at the San Padre Shootout in San Padre, Texas.

The Dolphins will play at Georgia Southern on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. in Statesboro, Ga. before taking a nine-day hiatus.

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