Jan. 13, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. –After opening conference action with a 60-41 victory over Rice on Thursday night, the East Carolina women’s basketball team hits the road to face defending Conference USA regular season and tournament champion UTEP in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday, January 13, at 4 p.m. (ET).
The Game: ECU at UTEP
East Carolina travels west to El Paso, Texas, where the Pirates will square off with the defending Conference USA regular season and tournament champion UTEP. The Pirates and the Miners will go head-to-head on Sunday, January 13, at 4 p.m. (ET) at the Don Haskins Center.
The Pirates and Miners will meet for the eighth time in program history and ECU leads the all-time series 4-3. Last season, UTEP held off East Carolina, 66-56, on January 18, 2012, at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C. The Pirates are looking for their first victory over the Miners since 2010, when ECU defeated UTEP, 64-54, in Greenville. The Pirates have not collected a win at the Don Haskins Center since 2006, when East Carolina edged UTEP, 77-72, in overtime in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Last Time Out
The Pirates hit the road after downing Rice in both team’s Conference USA opener by a score of 60-41 on Thursday night at Minges Colsieum. In that contest, East Carolina used solid defense to silence the Owls limiting the visitors to 33.3-percent shooting while collecting 20 steals to tie for fifth in the ECU single-game record book. Senior point guard Celeste Stewart led the Pirates’ offense as she turned in a career-high 21-point performance to lead all scorers. Additionally Stewart tallied a team-high five assists, three steals, and a rebound while shooting 57.1-percent in the game. Whitny Edwards was ECU’s other double-figure scorer as she recorded 10 points and added six boards, two assists, a pair of steals and a block. Britny Edwards led the squad with 11 rebounds and contributed seven points, four steals and three assists in the contest. Kyani White and Ariana Jackson each added five points in the game. White tallied two steals and an assist, while Jackson finished the contest with three boards and a steal.
About the Pirates
East Carolina will enter the Don Haskins Center with an 11-3 overall record and a 1-0 C-USA mark. The Pirates have won six of their last seven games and are averaging 66.7 points per game while limiting their opponents to 51.6, a league best. The ECU defense has been stout as it is forcing 25.1 turnovers per game, while collecting 14.7 steals per contest, which is good for second in the nation. The Pirates have three double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (11.8 points per game), Britny Edwards (11.3 points per game), and Kristine Mial (10.0 points per game). Britny Edwards is the squad’s rebounding leader as she has collected 115 boards to average 8.2 per contest. She also leads the team with 21 blocks and a 53.5 shooting percentage. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.6 rebounds per game, and has added 23 steals and 29 assists. Mial has made an immediate impact since returning to the Pirates’ lineup after sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to an injury. Since her return, she has recorded 40 points in four games and has contributed five steals and as many rebounds. Senior point guard Celeste Stewart has been a major contributer for ECU all season as she leads the team with 64 assists and is averaging 9.9 points per game. Stewart has also posted 39 rebounds and 27 steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 42 steals to lead the Pirates and has also added 5.3 points per game, 49 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Scouting The Miners
UTEP comes into the game against the Pirates with a conference leading 13-1 overall record and a 1-0 league mark. The Miners’ only loss of the season came at New Mexico State on December 5, when the Aggies edged the Miners 69-68. Since that loss, UTEP has been on an eight game winning streak and is the only C-USA school to be receiving votes in the national polls. The Miners are averaging 69.6 points per game and holding their opponents to 55.5 for a scoring margin of 14.1. Junior forward Kayla Thornton leads the offense as she averages 15.0 points per game. She is also the team’s leading rebounder with 8.7 boards per contest. Thornton has amassed 21 steals, 21 assists and seven blocks this season. Anete Steinberga, a senior center, averages 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, while Chrishauna Parker, a sophomore guard, leads the team with a 54.2-percent shooting clip. Parker averages 10.5 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and has contributed 54 assists to lead the team.
East Carolina: Head Coach Heather Macy (Greensboro College, 2000) enters her third year at the helm of the ECU women’s basketball team and holds a record of 39-37 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 154-76 career record and is 90-42 in conference action. In her first year with the Pirates, Macy guided the team to a winning record for the third straight season and helped the Pirates to a 9-7 conference mark which was good for fifth place in the league. Macy came to ECU from Francis Marion where she led the Patriots to a 27-5 ledger during the 2009-10 season and finished second in the East Division of the Peach Belt Conference. Under her tutelage, FMU earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the second round. Macy spent three seasons with FMU and finished her stint with an impressive 75-19 record. She began her coaching career with Pfeiffer, where she coached for two years and led the Falcons to a 26-5 record in her final season.
UTEP: Keitha Adams (Southwestern, 1989) is in her 12th season at the helm of the UTEP women’s basketball team. Since her hiring in the spring of 2001, Adams has delivered three league championships, including claiming both the 2012 Conference USA regular season and tournament title, guided UTEP into a pair of NCAA Tournaments. All three 20-plus victory campaigns, four of the five seasons of at least 18 wins and seven of the 10 campaigns with at least 16 triumphs all time at UTEP are courtesy of Adams. Furthermore, every player who has exhausted her eligibility at UTEP during her tenure has graduated. Adams, a two-time C-USA Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2012, has compiled a mark of 197-148 to secure her spot as the all-time wins leader in program history.
The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 50 in nine categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are in second in steals per game (14.7), trailing only No. 11 North Carolina which is averaging 14.9. ECU ranks fifth in turnover margin (7.9), 20th in assists per game (16.9), 21st in scoring defense (51.6), 28th in scoring margin (15.1), 33rd in three-point field goal defense (25.8), 36th in field goal percent defense (34.8), 38th in win/loss percentage (.786), and 43rd in assists to turnover ratio (25.8). Individually, redshirt sophomore Kyani White is the only Pirate who ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA statistical categories. She is 36th in assists to turnover ratio (1.96) and 38th in steals per game (3.0).
On This Date in ECU Women’s Basketball History
The East Carolina women’s basketball team has played in nine contests on January 13th since the program’s inception. The first game took place in 1978, when ECU lost to James Madison, 73-67 in overtime. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 3-6 record on January 13th, with their last contest taking place in 2011 at Tulane in a Conference USA game in New Orleans, La. In that game, the Pirates fell to the Green Wave, 71-61. ECU’s only vicotries on January 13th came in 1981 at North Carolina (87-75), in 1986 versus William & Mary (89-54), and in 1990 against American (75-73 in overtime).
Cracking the Top 10
A pair of Pirates have found their way into the East Carolina women’s basketball career record books with their performances this season. Britny Edwards is currently ranked eighth in career blocks with 66, while Celeste Stewart sits in ninth with 298 career assists.
Closing in on the Top 10
Senior Shala Hodges is 13 three-pointers away from jumping into 10th place in the ECU all-time record books for most three-point field goals made in a career. Currently, Hodges has tallied 74 treys.
Off the Bench
The East Carolina women’s basketball team utilizes its bench as much as anyone, if not more. This season, the Pirates’ bench has outscored its opponents’ bench 321-193. ECU’s non-starters tallied 52 of the team’s 84 points in the Pirates’ win over St. Andrew’s on November 11, and East Carolina’s bench recorded 45 of 79 points against Converse on November 18. Most recently, the Pirates’ bench notched 26 points versus’ George Mason on January 2, while the Patriots’ bench was limited to just four points. In that contest, ECU cruised past George Mason, 71-53.
Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 208 rebounds as Britny has collected 115 and Whitny has added 93. Britny is averaging 8.2 rebounds per game which ranks fifth in the conference. Additionally, she is fourth in defensive rebounds (5.4) in Conference USA.
This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents 934-722 (66.7 points per game to 51.6) to boast an impressive scoring margin of +15.1, which leads the conference and ranks in the top 30 in the NCAA. A large part of the offense has come from redshirt seniors Whitny and Britny Edwards. Whitny is the Pirates’ leading scorer as she averages 11.8 points per game, however, Britny is hot on her heels with an average of 11.3 points per contest. Additionally, Britny is leading the team with a 53.5-percent shooting clip to rank third in C-USA, while Whitny is shooting 40.4-percent.
Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 42 steals to average 3.0 steals per game for ECU. Against Converse, White grabbed a game-high eight steals to tie for sixth place in the ECU single-game record book. She is fourth in Conference USA and 38th in the nation in steals per contest.
Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 64 assists this season to average 4.6 assists per game which is good for second in C-USA statistics. She is currently in ninth place in the ECU career record books with 298 in her career.
Redshirt senior Britny Edwards recorded a game-high five blocks in the Pirates’ season opener at William & Mary. Her five blocks tied her career-high from a year ago when she tallied five stops versus Jacksonville on December 18, 2011. Last season, Britny Edwards finished the year with a team-leading 45 blocks. This season, Edwards has posted a team-leading 21 blocks to average 1.5 blocks per game which ranks sixth in Conference USA. In the Pirates’ win over NC Central, Edwards tallied her 63rd career block to break into the ECU all-time record book.
ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in six categories. East Carolina has set the standard in scoring defense (51.6), scoring margin (+15.1), steals per game (14.7), turnover margin (+7.9), offensive rebounds per game (16.9), and three-point made field goals per game (5.5). The Pirates rank in the top five in 14 of 21 categories in conference statistics.
ECU Players in C-USA
Individually, East Carolina has a number of players in the top 10 in conference statistics. Kyani White leads the conference in assists to turnover ratio (2.0) and is fourth in steals per game (3.0). Britny Edwards ranks third in field goal percentage (.535), fourth in defensive rebounds (5.4), fifth in rebounding (8.2), and sixth in blocked shots (1.5). Celeste Stewart is second in assists per game (4.6), fifth in assists to turnover ratio (1.6), and 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.340). Whitny Edwards is fifth in three-point made field goals as she averages 1.9.
The Pirates continue their road swing as they head to Memphis, Tenn., to face the Tigers at Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Thursday, January 17, at 8 p.m. (ET). East Carolina and Memphis will meet for the 21st time in program history and the all-time series is knotted at 10-10. Last season, the Tigers swept ECU in a pair of contests, edging the Pirates 62-59 in Memphis, before defeating them 69-56 in Greenville, N.C. East Carolina is looking for its first victory over Memphis since March 9, 2010, when the Pirates held off the Tigers, 73-66 at the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.