Women’s hoops embarks on final regular-season road trip Thursday
The JU women’s basketball team will pack its suitcases for one more regular-season road trip starting Thursday against East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn. at 7 p.m.

The Dolphins (7-17, 5-8 A-Sun) end the road trip Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C. against USC Upstate at 4:30 p.m. JU is looking to snap an overall five-game losing streak and secure one of the last six spots into the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

“These are two huge games this weekend,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We are really trying to focus on playing the entire forty minutes. Our goal is to be playing our best basketball down the stretch.”

Last time out, the Dolphins saw their six-game home-winning streak snapped A-Sun leaders Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast. The Hatters used a 16-5 run in the final 11 minutes to get the win. JU used a 14-4 stretch to get with seven against FGCU before the Eagles made free throws to quash the comeback.

Senior Crystal Bell scored double-digits each contest to add to her team-leading 13.0 pointer per game average. She also had four steals against the Eagles which helped her crack the top five all-time at 120. Bell needs six steals to pass Virginia Gregoire (70, 2007-2008) for JU’s single-season record.

Along with Bell, sophomores Jade Cargill (48) and Abril Peeples (40) each have 40 or more steals to help the Dolphins rank first in the A-Sun with 270.

The Lady Bucs (6-17, 5-7) split their latest set of games over the weekend. They won at Mercer before dropping a 78-68 decision to Kennesaw State.

Destiny Mitchell has paced the ETSU in four of the last six games to get a 11.7 average. She also ranks first in rebounds (8.0) and second in steals (28) and blocks (12). Natalie Pickwell is the next highest scorer at 9.7 clip.

: In the first meeting, the Dolphins rode a strong first half into a 70-44 win at home on Jan. 14. Peeples scored 18 points to help JU to its second regular-season win in the series. The Dolphins have never won in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Spartans (6-17, 5-7) had their four-game winning streak snapped with losses to Kennesaw State and Mercer at home.

Tee’Ara Copney paces the Spartans in scoring (16.0) and steals (54), while ranks second with 61 assists. Briana Robinson is second in scoring with a 7.2 average, while Paulina Zaveckaite leads in rebounds (7.0).

Five JU players scored in double-figures to down USC Upstate, 80-72, at Swisher Gymnasium in the first meeting on Jan. 12. The Spartans have won the last two meetings in Spartanburg, while JU’s last road win in the series was on Jan. 5, 2009 (78-58).

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