Women's basketball hosts Florida on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 27, 2007


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After going 1-1 last week at the Lady Pirate Invitational, the JU women's basketball team returns home to play its first game at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in 2007-08.

The Dolphins will host Florida (4-2) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and will serve as the opening game for a schedule doubleheader with the men's team (Georgia State). Both contests can be seen live on www.judolphins.com as part of ASun.TV.

The contest between the Dolphins and Gators will be the first in program history and will see the return of assistant coach Brenda Mock-Kirkpatrick (Florida) who was an assistant under JU head coach Jill Dunn in her first season (2004-05).

Williams breaking more records
Senior forward Ashley Williams became the first player in program history to be named preseason MVP after surpassing her own single-season record with 509 points last season. She also became the first Dolphin to earn consecutive first team all-conference honors after tying for the conference lead with an average of 17 points per contest.

The records are continuing to fall for the Jacksonville native and she is poised to end her Dolphin career as one of the top players in the history of the program.

After scoring 14 points in a win over Miami on Nov. 13, Williams joined forward Kat Sungy (1999-03), forward Yolisha Jackson (2000-05) and guard Sheena Carpenter (2003-06) as the only Dolphins to score 1,000 points in their careers. Now that she has surpassed 1,000 points, she takes aim at being the top scorer in program history. Williams is 90 points shy of surpassing Sungy (1,183) on the all-time point leader list.

On the defensive side of the ball, Williams set the career record for blocked shots (91) with one against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 16. She also passed Sungy (115) on the all-time steals list with five against Winthrop on Nov. 24.

JU knocking off some bigger fish
In ringing in the new regime of women's basketball at JU, the Dolphins have registered wins against bigger conferences in 2007-08.

The squad started things off with a 72-64 win over Miami on Nov. 13 to earn its first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference program in four tries. The Dolphins had previously faced Florida State (0-2) and Georgia Tech (0-1) and played Miami for the first time in program history.

JU continued the trend with a 72-68 win over UMass on Nov. 23 in the first round of the Lady Pirate Invitational. It was the program's first win over the Atlantic 10 Conference in three tries. The squad had previously faced Fordham (0-2) in a home-and- home series, the last of which occuring in 2003.

New standards at home
The Dolphins have raised the bar when it comes to playing at home by setting a new program record in 2006-07 with 13 wins. JU surpassed the previous mark of seven victories, which was set by the squad in 2005-06.

JU is currently in the midst of an 12-game home winning streak which continued with a 76-45 win over Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 16.

Taking care of the ball
One of the staples of a Jill Dunn program is winning the turnover battles. Now in her fourth season with the program, those numbers are beginning to ring true.

In her first year, JU averaged 17.1 turnovers per contest, compared to 19.0 by its opponents. In year two, the Dolphin's finished with 18.8 turnovers per contest compared to 19.0 by their opponents.

Last year, JU led the A-Sun in turnover margin (+4.29) with an average of 18.3 turnovers per contest. The Dolphins also forced a conference-high 22.2 turnovers per game.

This year, the Dolphins lead the conference in turnover margin (+7.50), assist-to- turnover ratio (0.98), steals (14 spg) and assists (16 apg) with an average of 16.3 turnovers per contest. JU  opponents are averaging 23.8 turnovers per game.

JU sets the tone with its pressure defense and this year's squad is setting new standards in the program record book for steals.

Last season, the Dolphins tallied a program-record with 309 team steals, shattering the previous record of 262 from 2005-06. JU also set a single-game record with 17 against Niagara on Dec. 18, 2006, and registered at least 10 steals in 18-of-30 contests.

This season, the Dolphins leap frogged the single-season mark with 21 steals against UCF on Nov. 19 and have tallied at least 10 steals in all four games. JU currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference with an average of 14 steals per contest.

Individually, four Dolphins are on pace to blow up the leader board for career steals this season.

Senior forward Ashley Williams surpassed Kat Sungy (115) for first on the all time list. Directly on her heels are junior guards Virginia Gregoire (109), DaVina Hamilton (106) and Regina Omoite (100). Williams may end her career as the program's all- time leader but she won't hold it for long with the guard trio still ready for another season of thievery.