Women’s hoops starts two-game road trip Saturday
Junior Stephanie Edwards
Junior Stephanie Edwards
The Jacksonville University women’s basketball team will try to shake off its two close losses in the last three games Saturday when they play USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. at 2 p.m.

Saturday’s game will also be the first of three contests for the Dolphins (7-11, 3-4 A-Sun) on JU wraps the road trip Monday at 7 p.m. against East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn.

“This is a very important road trip for our team,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “Every game we play is going to impact us in our conference standings.”

JU enters the week after dropping two of the last three A-Sun games by less than four points.

On Jan. 19, the Dolphins had a second-half comeback fall short in a 66-63 loss to cross-town rival North Florida in UNF Arena. JU erased a 15-point second-half deficit to a bucket three times before suffering the hard luck defeat.

Senior Tracie Sneed scored 10 of her team-high 15 points in the second half for the Dolphins, who shot 50 percent from the floor in the frame. Sneed also matched junior Jade Cargill in rebounds with eight. Cargill and junior Stephanie Edwards finished with nine points in the loss.

The Spartans (6-12, 2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak Monday with a 61-52 victory against Kennesaw State. Tee'Ara Copney scored 21 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Spartans.

Copney ranks first on the team in points (12.7), rebounds (4.3) and steals (47) through 18 games. Brittany Starling is second in scoring (7.9), while Shelby Hicks and Tweety Hawkins are each third with 6.1 points a contest.

Last season, the Dolphins swept both matchups to take a 5-4 edge in the all-time series. JU won 74-64 in the Hodge Center last February in the most recent meeting. The Spartans had won three of four games before getting swept last year.

The Lady Bucs (4-10, 2-5 A-Sun), who host UNF Saturday, dropped a 79-64 decision to Mercer in Macon, Ga. in their latest action. Destiny Mitchell recorded a double-double (17 points, 13 rebounds) for ETSU in the loss.

Like Copney for USC Upstate, Mitchell leads the Lady Bucs in scoring (12.6), rebounding (8.9) and steals (28). Brianna McQueen is second in scoring with a 9.6 average, while Serena Clark is pulling down 7.1 rebounds a contest.

Despite being down in the all-time series, the Dolphins swept both contests last season for the first time ever. The Lady Bucs won the previous 10 meetings before the Dolphins snapped the streak with a 61-59 victory in the A-Sun semifinals on Mar. 4, 2011.

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