FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2011
Women’s basketball invades the Peach State starting on Saturday
The JU women’s basketball team will leave the state for a short two-game road trip starting on Saturday against Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga. at 5 p.m.

The Dolphins (8-8, 3-4 A-Sun) wrap their jaunt in Georgia with a stop in Macon to play Mercer on Monday at 7 p.m.

“These are two extremely important games for us,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “If we are going to continue to make strides in the conference standings then these are two must wins. We have to start putting some wins together.”

Last time out, the Dolphins rode a strong second half to a 87-57 win against USC Upstate on Monday night in Swisher Gymnasium.

The Dolphins shot 50 percent or better in the second half from the floor (15-30), beyond the arc (5-10) and charity stripe (14-20) to snap a three-game losing streak to the Spartans.

Senior guard GiGi Thomas scored 17 points to pace four JU players in double figures, while junior guard Ashanti Williams added 16 points and six assists. Senior forward Taneskei Richardson had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Crystal Bell hit double-figures off the bench for the fourth straight game with 13 points.

The Owls (3-12, 0-7) have dropped the last six games since defeating Chattanooga in overtime on Dec. 21. Kennesaw Stat fell to FGCU (1/15) and Stetson (1/17) in a trip to Florida over the weekend.

Angie Smith is pacing the offense with a 13.6 points per game average, while Sametria Gideon is posting a team-best 9.7 rebounds per contest.

Last season, each team won at its home court to split the series for the year. The Dolphins own a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series, while two of the three Owls’ wins have come in JU’s backyard (2005, 2008).

The Bears (1-15, 1-6) are on a similar bad stretch like the Owls after dropping their last seven contests. Mercer’s lone win this season was at Belmont on Dec. 4.

Briana Williams leads the Bears in scoring (15.4), while Brittnee Hazell has a team-best 30 steals in 16 games.

Last season, the Bears won ontheir home court in the series finale to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Dolphins. Despite the loss, JU owns a 12-10 advantage in the all-time series.

Fans can follow the matchups through live stats or live video streaming on A-Sun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com.