Dec. 8, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
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After dropping two consecutive road games to open
Atlantic Sun Conference play, the JU women's
basketball team returns to their non-conference
schedule against Georgia Tech (4-2, 1-0) at
Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 1
Head coach Jill Dunn
Jill Dunn enters her third season as head
coach of the Jacksonville University women's
Prior to JU, Dunn spent three years helping
Georgia State to three consecutive A-Sun
Conference titles from 2001-04. Before joining
Georgia State, Dunn was the top assistant coach at
Miami University (Ohio), during the 2000-01 season.
Prior to her one-year stint in Miami, Dunn
served as the head coach at Western Carolina
University in Cullowhee, N.C., from 1998-00. In her
final season with the program, the Lady Catamounts
posted 12 wins which was the most in 15 seasons at
Before being elevated to the head spot at
Western Carolina, she was the top assistant coach
during the 1997-98 campaign. Dunn's coaching career
began at the University of South Carolina, where she
was as an assistant coach from 1994-97.
Dunn's success began as a player at
Georgia Southern, where she was a three-year
starter from 1989-93. She was named to the Georgia
Southern Hall of Fame on Nov. 4.
Taking care of the ball
One of the staples of a Jill Dunn program is
winning the turnover battles. Now in her third season
with the program, those numbers are beginning to
In her first year, JU averaged 17.1
turnovers per contest, compared to 19.0 by its
opponents. The Dolphins' turnover margin (+1.89)
ranked second in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Florida
Atlantic (+2.14) and Troy (+1.07) were the only
other members to post a positive turnover margin on
In year two, the Dolphin's inexperience
showed up early as JU averaged 20.3 turnovers
compared to 18.1 by its opponents in the first 14
games of the season. In the last 14 games, JU
averaged 17.3 compared to 19.9 by its opponents.
The Dolphins finished with 18.8 turnovers per contest
compared to 19.0 by their opponents.
This year, JU is leading the A-Sun in
turnover margin (+4.50) and assist-to-turnover ratio
(0.79) with an average of 20.8 turnovers per
contest. The Dolphins are also causing havoc on the
defensive end by forcing 25.3 turnovers per game.
A-Will to Score
Proving last season wasn't a fluke, junior
forward Ashley Williams set the program record for
points in a game by tallying 32 at Charleston
Southern on Nov. 13.
A preseason all-conference selection,
Williams made 14-of-16 shots from the floor (.875)
and connected on 4-of-4 shots from the free-throw
line. She also led the squad with five steals.
Williams followed that effort with a game-
high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field to
go along with seven rebounds on Nov. 17 against
South Carolina State.
For her efforts, she was named A-
Sun "Player of the Week" for the third time in her
career on Nov. 20.
On Nov. 21 against UCF, Williams racked up
a game-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the
floor. Then concluded the weekend with a 19 points,
11 rebound performance against Charleston Southern
for her first double-double of the season and the
seventh of her career.
Against Lipscomb, Williams kept her double
figure streak alive with 13 points but only grabbed
two rebounds due to fouls limiting her to only 19
She completed the road trip by leading the
squad with 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the
field against Belmont.
Sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire
possesses the most untapped potential and is
beginning to develop into the perfect compliment to
junior forward Ashley Williams.
In six games, Gregoire is second on the
squad with 12.3 points and leads the team with 6.7
rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. She is also
second with 10 three pointers.
Against Charleston Southern on Nov. 25,
Gregoire finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for
her first career double-double.
She currnetly ranks second on the squad
with 12.3 points but leads the squad with 6.7
rebounds, 5.5 assist per contest.
Sophomore guard DaVina Hamilton was not
asked to score a lot in her first season with the
program but the times are a changing.
With the graduation of Sheena Carpenter
(14.0 ppg), Hamilton has been plugged into the
shooting guard spot and has been told to look for her
In her first start at Charleston Southern,
she finished with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-10
shooting from the field, including a 3-for-3 effort from
beyond the arc, in only 20 minutes of action.
Hamilton followed that effort with 12 points,
six rebounds, six assists and four steals against
South Carolina State on Nov. 17.
Despite going without a point against UCF,
Hamilton bounced back with 16 points, five rebounds,
three assists and three steals against Charleston
Southern on Nov. 25.
Hamilton had another let down with only
four points against Lipscomb but she bounced back
with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two
blocks and two steals at Belmont.
The Dolphins are 1-1 on the season when
she does not register at least 10 points in a contest.
Sophomore guard Crystal Ayers finished
with a career-high four points and two rebounds in
nine minutes at Belmont. After last weekends losses,
the Dolphins are now 0-10 in Nashville, Tenn. JU
leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring (70.8
ppg), scoring margin (+7.7), field-goal percentage
(42.6), 3-point field goal percentage (.369) and
assists (16.5 apg).
JU started the season off on a good note
by winning its first four games of the season. The
feat was the best start by the Dolphins in program
history and marked the first four-game winning streak
The Dolphins are also 3-0 at Swisher
Gymnasium to start the year, which is also the best
start in program history. The longest winning streak
at home for JU is six games (2000-01, 2005-06).
Injuries Still Nagging
No matter what the year, it seems that
injuries are the center of attention for the JU
women's basketball program.
Last season, sophomore guard Crystal Ayers
missed the entire season due to surgery on her right
knee after transferring from Okaloosa-Walton Junior
Ayers has returned for her first season but
freshman forward Crystal Grable will be sidelined
indefinitely after knee surgery. In two preseason
games, Grable averaged 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds
Ford Chooses to Retire
More bad luck has struck the Dolphins this
season as sophomore forward Kelly Ford chose to
retire after suffering her third concussion in a year,
the latest coming in preseason practice.
A local native from University High School,
Ford provided the blue collar effort under the basket
as JU reached the A-Sun Tournament for the first
time since 2001. Ford averaged 3.9 points and 3.6
rebounds after appearing in all 28 games, including 19
starts as a true freshman.
Although her decision ends her playing
career, she will stay with the squad as a student
assistant on the sidelines.
JU Inks Three During Early Signing Period
JU announced the signing of guard Janelle
Grayson of North Atlanta High School, forward/center
Lynsey Paschal of Sandy Creek High School and
center Gabrielle Sermons of Open Bible Christian High
School to National Letters of Intent, head coach Jill
Dunn announced on Nov. 20.
Grayson, a 5-foot-6 senior, was named
team offensive MVP after averaging 14 points, four
rebounds, three assists and three steals as a junior.
She was teammates with current Dolphin freshman
Paschal, a 6-foot senior, has been a three-
year starter in the post to help the Patriots post a
75-21 record during that span.
Sermons, a 6-foot-3 senior, has led the
Warriors to back-to-back state championships and an
overall record off 47-2 during that span.
Williams Earns Preseason Honors
Junior forward Ashley Williams became only the third
Dolphin in program history to be named to the
preseason All-Atlantic Sun Conference team. She
joins forward Kat Sungy (2001-02) and guard Sheena
Last season, Williams became the first Dolphin to
receive first team all-conference honors since Kat
Sungy (2000-01) and the first player to receive A-
Sun "Player of the Week" accolades twice in one
Dolphins Ranked Fifth in A-Sun Poll
The Dolphins were voted to finish fifth in the
Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
Belmont, who received seven first-place
votes, was selected to finish first with 97 points.
Gardner-Webb, received three first- place votes and
is tabbed as the tournament champions, was
predicted to finish second with 90 points. East
Tennessee State (72), Campbell (65) and JU (55)
rounded out the top five while Mercer (54), Stetson
(39), Lipscomb (36), North Florida (27) and Kennesaw
State (15) made up the rest of the poll.
New Face on the Sidelines
Along with five new members of the squad, Nitasha
Brown will join the Dolphin coaching staff as a
Brown comes the First Coast after completing a
stellar four-year career as a point guard at Auburn
(2003-06), including two years under Hall of Fame
coach Joe Ciampi.
As a senior with the Tigers, Brown was
named team captain and co-MVP after averaging 11
points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting
35.2 percent (50-of-142) from beyond the arc. She
helped lead the squad to the NCAA Tournament
appearance that same season.
As a junior, she started 13 games and
averaged 3.9 points and 1.8 assists to lead the
Tigers to an NIT title.