When Jacksonville University head coach Jill Dunn walks into Hanner Fieldhouse for tonight’s game against Georgia Southern, she’ll be returning to a place dear to her heart.
Dunn helped the Lady Eagles to their first NCAA tournament appearance during her senior year in 1993 and is now in her third season at the helm of the Dolphin program.
“It’s always an honor to come back to your alma mater and play,” said Dunn, who was inducted into the Georgia Southern Hall of Fame last month. “Obviously, it’s a big deal, and we want to make a good showing.”
During her four-year career at Southern, the Eagles amassed 71 wins, including the Southern Conference tournament title in 1993. GSU’s current head coach, Rusty Cram, was an assistant for the Eagles during that time.
“We have a lot of great memories,” Dunn said. “It was a landmark year for us and something I’ll always remember.”
The Dolphins (4-3) will be up against a Georgia Southern team (4-5) looking to continue the momentum of a three-game winning streak. After a hectic schedule to open their season, the Eagles took a much-need break for final exams, an 11-day hiatus, and haven’t played since a 75-71 victory at Central Florida on Dec. 1.
The Dolphins, whose 12-member team includes 10 freshmen and sophomores, have dropped their last three games after opening the season with four straight wins. They lost at Georgia Tech, 79-57, on Sunday.
“We are in a little bit of a slump right now, and we are anxious to get back on a winning track,” Dunn said. “We are excited about the opportunity to head into the Christmas break on a winning note.”
Junior guard Tiffany Brown leads GSU in scoring (12.6 points per game) and assists (3.3), while sophomore guard Ashley Rivens adds 10.2 points a contest. The Dolphins are paced by junior forward Ashley Williams (19.1 ppg) and sophomore guard Virginia Gregoire (12.6).
Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.