JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With its selection as an at-large team, the Jacksonville University women's basketball program will be making its first-ever appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) this Thursday at Georgia Tech. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
The ASUN Conference has never had more than one program invited to the postseason tournament and will have two this season in Stetson and JU.
Thursday's victor will go on to face the winner of Stetson/Central Florida in the second round.
Purchase tickets by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX or through RamblinWreck.com. General admission will be $3.
The tournament field consists of 32 automatic invitations – one from each conference – and 32 at-large teams.
There will be six rounds of competition and the championship will be televised live on CBS Sports Network Saturday, April 1. First round games will be held March 15-17.
JU's Last Outing
Meeting Florida Gulf Coast in the ASUN semifinals, the Dolphins overcame a 19-point deficit but fell just short of completing the comeback in a 68-64 decision.
The sides were evenly matched in the early goings – playing to a pair of ties and three lead changes – until FGCU hit six three-pointers just before the half.
The Dolphins made it a three-point game on two separate occasions in the closing minutes.
- The WNIT marks back-to-back postseason appearances for JU; the Dolphins won their first ever ASUN Championship title last year and played South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAAs
- Reddick's postseason awards list includes first team all-conference and all-tournament; she led the league in scoring with 16.9 points per game
- Kayla Gordon surpassed 700 career rebounds in first round play vs. Lipscomb; she's averaging a team-high 8.6 rebounds this season
- Brandi Buie (Second Team All-Conference) increased her scoring average from 8.5 PPG a season ago to 12.5 this year
- Reddick and Mercer were honored as First Team All-Conference picks, and were the first Dolphin duo to receive the honor since 2007-08
- Coming off the bench, Mercer averaged 17.5 points with eight rebounds in the ASUN Tournament
- Conference play saw JU sweep five of its seven league competitors, and snap FGCU's three-year, 44-game ASUN regular season winning streak
- The Dolphins rank 10th in the nation in rebounding margin (9.1)
Scouting the Opposition
The Dolphins face their second Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent of the season after taking on North Carolina in nonconference play.
Georgia Tech (17-14, 5-11 ACC) last played on March 2 in an 87-71 loss to Miami in the ACC Tournament. Three Yellow Jackets are scoring in double-figures, and are led by junior forward Zaire O'Neil at 12.8 points per game.
Francesca Pan was voted all-freshman, adding 10.9 PPG.
The Jackets took the lone meeting, 81-52, on Dec. 10, 2006 in McCamish Pavilion.