“We are excited to be back at home playing this weekend,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “Our team knows how important these next two games are for us.”
Last time out, the Dolphins suffered road losses to the last two A-Sun champions in Florida Gulf Coast (Jan. 5) and Stetson (Jan. 7). Despite the losses, the Dolphins outrebounded each opponent, including posting 51 boards against the Hatters.
Freshmen Queen Alford and Briona Brown are starting to play more like seasoned veterans than newcomers for the Dolphins with the recent road trip.
Alford led the Dolphins with 16 points at FGCU, while Brown added 14 points and five boards. Brown had a team-best 16 point at Stetson to go along with six rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 32 minutes. Alford chipped in with 13 points, six boards and three assists off the bench.
With the surge, Alford (10.2, 17th) and Brown (10.1, 18th) are the second and third highest scoring freshmen, respectively, in the A-Sun behind ETSU’s Brittany McQueen at 10.8 points a contest (14th).
The Bears (7-7, 1-2) snapped a four-game losing streak Monday with a 71-46 road victory against Kennesaw State. Precious Bridges and Kendra Grant each scored 16 points to secure the win.
Bridges leads the Mercer offense with 15.8 points a game, while Grant is second with a 12.6 average. Teanna Robinson is first in rebounding with a 7.6 clip.
The Dolphins have won 11 of the last 12 against the Bears for a 15-11 lead in the all-times series. JU has won the last six at home against Mercer, including an 84-78 victory in Jacksonville in the final meeting between the teams last season.
With the loss to Mercer, the Owls (4-11, 0-3) have dropped five of their last six contests. They will play at North Florida Saturday before battling the Dolphins.
Sametria Gideon leads the Owls in scoring (11.2) and rebounds (10.5), while Kristina Wells is second in scoring at 10.2 points a game. Ashley Holliday, older sister of JU’s Britney Holliday, is third in scoring with a 9.9 average.
In the all-time series, the Dolphins are clinging to an 8-6 advantage. The Owls have won four of the last five games, including both match ups last season. JU’s last win was at home, 65-60, on Feb. 18, 2011.
Fans can follow the action through the live links at JUDolphins.com.