WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Women’s hoops faces Belmont in General Shale Brick A-Sun Tournament Thursday
NCAA postseason aspirations are on the line beginning Thursday when the No. 6 seed JU women’s basketball team faces No. 3 seed Belmont in the General Shale Brick A-Sun Tournament in Macon, Ga.

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN3.com. The winner will face the victor of the Stetson/USC Upstate contest in the semifinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

“This is the exciting time of the season,” JU head Jill Dunn said. “Each game is very important as we battle for a shot into the NCAA Tournament. We have a tough road ahead, but our kids are up for the challenge.”

The Dolphins (10-19) enter their 10th A-Sun Tournament after falling on a last second to North Florida, 46-44, on Feb. 25.

Despite the loss, the Dolphins have had success in the last few A-Sun Tournaments under Dunn. JU has made the semifinals in the last five tournaments and reached the championship final in three of the last four seasons. They return eight players from the 2010-11 team that fell short to Stetson in last season’s championship final.

The Bruins (12-16) had a three-game winning streak snapped by Mercer, 73-66, in the season finale on Feb. 25. Haley Nelson has led the Bruins in points and rebounds in the final four games.

Nelson received first team all-conference honors after leading the Bruins in scoring (14.5), rebounds (9.1), blocks (61) and steals (53).

In the all-time series, the Bruins hold a commanding 15-6 lead. The teams would each win at their home court this year to split the season series.

Sophomore Jade Cargill paced the Dolphins in their win on Jan. 4 by recording 22 points, 13 boards and five steals.

Nelson had 22 points, 14 boards and four steals to help the Bruins hold off a late JU run in Nashville. JU used a 15-4 run in the final four minutes to cut the deficit to 65-62 with eight seconds left. Senior Crystal Bell was big catalyst for the run, scoring 10 points in eight seconds on two steals and a Bruins’ turnover.

Fans can follow the action of the tournament through the live links on AtlanticSun.org.