The Dolphins will use this tune-up contest to get ready for the 2012-13 opener against Florida A&M Nov. 9 at home.
“We are looking forward to our exhibition game,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “This will give us a good gauge to see where we are as a team and what adjustments have to be made before our home opener.”
The Dolphins, picked fifth in the preseason polls, return eight players from last year’s squad that reached the A-Sun semifinals for the sixth straight year and broke the program-record for steals with 334.
Some of the Dolphins’ strength in the returners will come down low from forwards Jade Cargill and Tracie Sneed.
As a sophomore, Cargill ranked first in rebounding (8.3), second in steals (57) and third in scoring (9.8). She had nine double-doubles to move into fourth all-time. She also recorded three 20-point scoring efforts and 10 double-digit rebound games. For her efforts, she was named to the preseason all-conference team.
“Jade is a very physical player, rebounding is her biggest strength,” Dunn said. “She has tremendous athletic ability; she can jump and run. I think she has learned to use her running and jumping to the game of basketball and she knows now how to be a scorer. Jade has learned how to use her range to become a better basketball player.”
Sneed, a local native, scored seven or more points on 23 occasions as a junior for JU. She finished the year fourth in scoring (9.7) and third in rebounds (6.1).
“I think Tracie will have a great season,” Dunn said. “She came in after sitting out a season last year and had a lot of big shoes to fill. She has a lot of individual goals that she wants to accomplish as well as our team goals. She is going to do everything she has to every game to get the results that she wants.”
Newcomers Stephanie Edwards, Queen Alford and Briona Brown will all be counted on to help the Dolphins right away this season.
Edwards was named Freshman of the Year at Santa Fe State College by helping them win the conference title and earn a trip to the national tournament.
Alford earned Georgia 6-AA Player of the Year honors in her senior season at Decatur High School, while Brown averaged 14 points a game last season to earn Polk County Player of the Year honors and lead Haines City (Fla.) High School to a spot in the state title game.
Columbus State enters the season picked third in the preseason Peach Belt polls behind Clayton State (2010 NCAA II National Champion) and USC Aiken (JU’s 2011 exhibition opponent). Overall, the Lady Cougars return six players from last year's team that finished second in the PBC West division with a 16-11 overall record
Fans can follow the action through live stats on JUDolphins.com.