After suffering back-to-back losses at home for the second time this season, the JU women’s basketball team (11-10, 7-5) will return to the road beginning with Kennesaw State (9-10, 6-5) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the KSU Convocation Center.
The contest can be seen live on A-Sun.TV by logging on to JUDolphins.com.
JU leads the all-time series against the Owls, 4-1, including a 3-0 record at the KSU Convocation Center. The Dolphins have won three of the last four meetings between the two programs, including a 70-56 win on Jan. 10 at Swisher Gymnasium.
KSU assistant coach Yolisha Jackson is no stranger to JU basketball as the former forward ranks fourth in the Dolphin career record book with 1,070 points from 2000-05.
Against USC Upstate, junior forward Desarae Johnson tallied her second career double-double after scoring 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor, a career-high 14 rebounds along with four blocks and three steals...freshman guard Jessica George had her best offensive output after connecting on a season-high three 3-pointers while also adding four assists, four rebounds and two steals in her first collegiate start...freshman guard Valerie Jones also added a season-high seven points and five rebounds in her first start of the season...senior guard Regina Omoite rounded out the JU scoring with 11 points while junior forward Crystal Grable chipped in with eight points, a career-best 13 rebounds and three blocks...senior guard DaVina Hamilton dished out a game-high six assists to go with eight points...against ETSU, Johnson scored a team-high 14 points after connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the field while also grabbing six rebounds and four blocks...junior guard Courtney Jackson rounded out the JU scoring with 11 points while also tallying six rebounds, four assists and two steals...junior center Danielle Gray finished with a team-high eight boards.
D.J. is mixing it up
Junior forward Desarae Johnson had been in the shadow of forward Ashley Williams for her first two seasons but is now currently the team’s emotional leader.
Mostly a role player off of the bench, Johnson has found her niche this year on the offensive end while continuing to patrol the middle of the defense with her shot-blocking ability.
Johnson, who has started 19-of-21 contests this year, is enjoying a career season by averaging 8.2 points per contest and 5.7 rebounds while leading the A-Sun by shooting 53 percent from the floor. Most of her opportunities come from mid-range jumpers which makes her accuracy even more impressive.
She started to turn things on against Mercer by tallying career-bests with 14 points, four blocks and four steals while shooting 6-of-8 from the floor in a 78-60 win. Against Kennesaw State, she upped the ante even more by tallying her first career double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) while adding a career-high five blocks and two steals in a 70-56 win.
For the week, Johnson averaged 16.5 points, seven rebounds and 4.5 blocks while shooting 65.2 percent from the floor (15-23).
Lately, she is continuing her torrid pace after averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor (14-24) in games against ETSU and USC Upstate.
Defensively, she leads the squad with 34 blocks and is fourth in the conference with 1.37 blocks per game. In the single-season record book, Johnson is five blocks shy of surpassing Talia Johnson (39, 2003-04) for fifth. Her block at Campbell moved her into fourth on the JU all-time list, surpassing Kara Donnell (63, 2001-05).
Defense looking for another JU record
Another look at how well JU is playing defense this season can simply be compared the teams of the past.
This season, the Dolphins have held an opponent under 50 points in four games: FIU - 43 (11/20), George Mason - 49 (11/25), at UNF - 42 (1/15) and at Stetson - 43 (1/24).
The number this season ranks second in program history, behind the total of five in 2007-08.
In her five years with JU, head coach Jill Dunn has registered 15 games in which her squad held an opponent under 50 points. Prior to that, the Dolphins had only accomplished the feat five times in five seasons.
Listed below is a breakdown of how many times a JU squad had held an opponent under 50 points in a game during its respective