Women's basketball heads to USC Upstate on Friday at 7 p.m.

Jan. 23, 2008


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After winning its ninth consecutive game, the JU women's basketball team will conclude its four-game road trip on Friday in South Carolina.

The Dolphins (15-3, 5-0), off to their best start in program history and conference play, will face conference newcomer USC Upstate (4-14, 0-5) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the G.B. Hodge Center. The contest can be seen live on as part of ASun.TV.

JU and USC Upstate will be facing each other for the first time since the Spartans made the jump to Division I and began play in the A-Sun.

JU earns vote in USA Today/ESPN Poll
Off to the best start in school history, the Dolphins are gaining notice nationally, earning its first vote in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll released on Jan. 8. JU is still receiving a vote in the poll for the third straight week after defeating North Florida over the weekend.

At a school that has enjoyed many years of national recognition and success with its men's basketball program (nine postseason appearances, including a trip to the national title game in 1970), the Dolphin women's program is beginning to enjoy its own success in only three and a half years under the guidance of head coach Jill Dunn.

Dolphins streaking
Along with its 17-game home winning streak, JU is in the midst of an nine-game winning streak. The Dolphins are also 18-1 at home since the beginning of the 2006-07 season (including 11 consecutive home wins against A-Sun opponents), while also winning 13 consecutive A-Sun games, seven consecutive conference road games and six consecutive road games.

Dual success
Along with the Dolphin women's program record start in the conference, the JU men are also sporting a 5-0 mark in A-Sun play.

It marked only the second time in A-Sun history that a men's and women's team from the same school started the season at 5-0. The last school to accomplish the feat was Belmont last season.

Against North Florida, senior forward Ashley Williams finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor while also tallying game highs with seven rebounds and four blocks. Junior guard Virginia Gregoire registered 12 points, six rebounds and three steals and junior guard Regina Omoite chipped in with five points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Junior guard DaVina Hamilton tallied a game-high four steals and freshman center Gabby Sermons scored her first collegiate basket with less than 10 seconds left in the contest.

JU among best in A-Sun
The Dolphins lead the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 15-3 mark, a nine-game winning streak and sit atop several statistical categories as well.

JU leads the conference in scoring margin (+8.2), turnover margin (+5.06) and assist/turnover ratio (0.86).

The Dolphins also rank second in scoring defense (53.9), assists (14.22 apg), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.282) and blocks (3.94 bpg) and are third in field goal percentage (.406), and steals (10.89) and scoring (66.8).

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 a career-low 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 (+5.06) and assist-to- turnover ratio (0.86) with an average of 16.4 turnovers per contest. JU opponents are averaging 21.5 turnovers per game.