Women’s hoops returns to the road Thursday
The JU women’s basketball team will continue to live out of a suitcase this week as it plays two more road contests starting Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

The Dolphins (7-13, 5-4 Atlantic Sun) open the trip at Allen Arena against Lipscomb at 7:30 p.m. JU will end the trip on Saturday down the street against Belmont at 6 p.m.

“We want to keep improving during this final stretch,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “This is a tough road swing this weekend. Every game at this point will determine the eight berths into the conference tournament.”

Last week, the Dolphins split their road contests in Georgia.

Sophomore Jade Cargill and senior Crystal Bell each finished with double-doubles to help the Dolphins earn their first road win of the season at Mercer, 76-65, on Jan. 19. JU had a bad second half two days later which resulted in a 78-64 loss at Mercer.

Bell saw her consecutive games scoring double-digits stop at 14 against Kennesaw State after tallying nine points, but did manage a career-best 14 boards. She also sits 14 steals shy of breaking the JU single-single mark of 70 by Virginia Gregoire (2007-08).

The Lady Bisons (3-17, 1-8) dropped their sixth straight contest on Jan. 21 to East Tennessee State, 89-52, in Johnson City, Tenn. Hannah Phillips scored a career-best 22 points in the loss.

Phillips leads Lipscomb in scoring (13.0 ppg), rebounds (5.2), assists (47) steals (35). She also ranks second with five blocks, while Anna Bowers is second in offense with a 12.4 average.

The Dolphins started the Lady Bisons six-game losing streak with an 81-75 overtime win on Jan. 2. Bell had 19 points in the victory to pull the Dolphins within one, 9-8, in the all-time series. Lipscomb downed JU at home last season, 74-69, on Jan. 8, 2011.

The Bruins (6-14, 5-4) enter the week winning three of their last five contests. They suffered a 61-51 loss at USC Upstate on Saturday. Haley Nelson posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards in the loss.

Nelson had team-highs in scoring (15.0), rebounds (8.4), steals (40) and blocks (39). Molly Ernst is second on the team with an 8.1 scoring average, while Katie Brooks leads Belmont with 61 assists.

On Jan. 4, Cargill tallied 22 points, 13 boards and five steals in leading JU to a 57-50 win over Belmont. The Dolphins trail in the all-time series, 14-6, but have won the last four meetings.

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