ECU Closes Non-Conference Action at College of Charleston

UABSPORTS.COM Tatiana Chapple
UABSPORTS.COM
Tatiana Chapple
UABSPORTS.COM

Jan. 1, 2014

Game 13: East Carolina at College of Charleston
Date Thursday, January 2
Time 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Location Charleston, S.C.
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The Game
The East Carolina women's basketball team opens the New Year against College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday, January 2, at 7 p.m. The contest also marks the last non-conference game for the Pirates before they begin Conference USA action.

The Series
The Pirates and the Cougars will meet for the sixth time in program history on Thursday. College of Charleston holds the edge in the all-time series 3-2. Last season, the Cougars defeated the Pirates, 72-62, at Minges Coliseum. The setback marked East Carolina's last home loss as they have not dropped a game at home since November 17, 2012. ECU is looking for its first victory over College of Charleston since January 28, 1991, when the Pirates routed the Cougars, 76-35, in Greenville.

Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 58-49 victory at Bethune-Cookman last Sunday. The Pirates have won their last three straight games and have won 11 of their last 12. ECU was led by redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne who registered her second double-double of the season as she finished the contest with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds to go along with one assist and one steal. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice was the Pirates' other double-figure scorer as she posted 18 points while adding three rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shawput up a career-best seven blocks to gain sole possession of second place in the ECU single-game record book. She also added eight rebounds, three points, and a pair of steals. The defensively charged game saw ECU shoot 33.1-percent from the field and Bethune-Cookman register a 29.8 field goal percentage. The Pirates forced the Wildcats into 21 turnovers and collected 10 steals. As a team, East Carolina posted 11 blocks to tie for third in the team single-game record book. Although the Pirates got off to a slow start in the first half, they manged to take a 35-31 lead into the locker room at the half. ECU held the lead throughout the second half and extended its advantage to as many as 10 points (41-31) en route to winning the game by a score of 58-49.

About the Pirates
East Carolina is 11-1 on the year with its only loss coming to Grand Canyon, 86-76, at the ULM Warhawk Classic. The Pirates opened the season with eight straight victories to mark the best start in program history since the 1972-73 season when ECU kicked off the year with an 18-0 record. The Pirates are averaging 77.4 points per game, while limiting opponents to 58.6 for a scoring margin of +18.8 which ranks 24th in the nation and second in Conference USA. East Carolina's 43.0 field goal percentage is good for third in the conference as the Pirates' free throw percentage of 74.7 ranks second. From three-point range, ECU is shooting 31.0-percent to rank seventh in the league. The Pirates lead the conference with a +8.3 rebounding margin as they average 41.9 rebounds per game to their counterparts' 33.6. ECU leads the conference in steals per game (12.5) and the Pirates also rank eighth in the NCAA in the same category. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the Pirates with 21.9 points per game to go along with a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game. She also owns a three-point field goal percentage of 47.7 to lead the conference and rank 13th in the nation. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is second on the squad in scoring as she averages 16.0 points per game while adding a team-leading 22 steals. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the Pirates' leader in assists with 59 to average 4.9 per game which ranks her fifth in the league and 68th in the nation. Ebron also adds 19 steals and 4.3 points per game. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shawis ECU's leader in blocks as the Los Angeles, Calif., native has put up 35 on the year to average 2.92 per game to lead C-USA and rank 12th in the nation. Shaw also contributes 6.2 rebounds per game, which is good for second on the team, 2.8 points per game, 11 steals and six assists.

Scouting the Cougars
College of Charleston owns a 7-5 record after dropping a 103-51 decision to Maryland on Sunday. Prior to that loss, the Cougars had won five out of their last six games. As a team, CofC is shooting 34.7-percent from the field, 24.9-percent from three-point range and 68.4-percent from the free throw line. The Cougar defense has allowed opponents to shoot nearly 40-percetnt from the floor this season. College of Charleston averages 67.6 points per game, while surrendering 70.5. Opponents hold a slight edge in rebounding as the Cougars average 44.6 rebounds per game, while their counterparts average 47.9. CofC has forced its opponents into 19.6 turnovers per game, while collecting 10.8 steals per game. The Cougars have two double-figure scorers in Alyssa Frye (15.2 points per game) and Afreyea Tolbert (14.1 points per game). Tolbert is also the leader in rebounds with 8.8 per game. She has also contributed 17 steals, 12 assists, and one block, while Frye has tallied 23 steals, 14 assists and three blocks to go along with 3.6 rebounds per game. Jillian Brown is the team-leader in assists as she has dished out 70 to average 5.8 per game. She has also recorded 3.8 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 18 steals, and a pair of blocks.

Home Sweet Home
Last season, ECU closed out the year with an impressive 14-1 record while playing at Minges Coliseum. After starting the 2013-14 season with a 7-0 record in Greenville, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 20 games. East Carolina has not lost a home match in more than a year as the last time the Pirates were defeated inside Minges Coliseum was on November 17, 2012 when they dropped a 72-62 decision to College of Charleston.

In the Nation
In the NCAA's weekly national statistical rankings East Carolina is ranked in the top 50 in 10 categories. The Pirates are eighth in the nation in steals per game as they average 12.5. Additionally, ECU is tied for 17th in win-loss percentage (91.7). The Pirates also rank 21st in blocked shots per game (5.3), 24th in scoring margin (+18.8), 32nd in free throw percentage (74.7), and 36th in turnover margin (+4.3). The Pirates also rank 40th in scoring defense (58.6), 41st in rebound margin (+8.6), 43rd in scoring offense (77.4), and 50th in field-goal percent defense (35.8).

Getting Defensive
A defensively strong team, East Carolina has limited its opponents to 58.6 points per game, while averaging 77.4 points per game for a scoring margin of +18.8. The Pirates' scoring margin is second in the league while their scoring offense ranks fourth in C-USA. The marks are also ranked 24th and 43rd in the NCAA, respectively. Additionally, the Pirates have collected 150 steals to average 12.5 per game to lead the conference and rank eightth in the nation. ECU has also forced their counterparts into 278 turnovers to average 23.2 per game for a turnover margin of +4.3 which is good for third in the league. The Pirates have also put up 64 blocks to average 5.3 per game which leads the league and ranks 21st in the nation.

Thanks For the Assistance
The Pirates have dished out 169 assists this season to average 14.1 per game which ranks fourth in Conference USA. Junior guard Janesha Ebronis the team-leader with 59 helpers on the year to average 4.9 per game which ranks her fifth in the conference. She also leads C-USA with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.19.

Pouring In The Points
The Pirates have a pair of double-figure scorers in redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne and redshirt junior guard Abria Trice. Payne leads the Pirates with 21.9 points per game, while Trice averages 16.0. Their averages rank third and 11th, respectively, in the conference. As a team, ECU owns a scoring offense of 77.4 to rank fourth aa in the league and 43rd in the nation, while the Pirates limit their opponents to 58.6 points per game for a scoring margin of +18.8 which is second in the conference and ranks 24th in the NCAA.

Cleaning Up The Glass
The Pirates have accumulated 503 rebounds to average 41.9 per game to rank fifth in Conference USA. In holding their opponents to 33.6 rebounds per game, the Pirates own a rebounding margin of +8.3 which leads C-USA and is good for 41st in the nation. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payneis the Pirates' leader in rebounding as she averages 7.0 boards per game. Her average ranks her in the top 15 in the conference.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates are known for steals. ECU has grabbed 150 steals this season to average 12.5 per game which leads Conference USA and ranks eighth in the NCAA. The Pirates have forced their opponents into 23.2 turnovers per game and own a turnover margin of +4.3 which ranks third in the league and 36th in the nation. Redshirt junior guard Abria Triceleads the Pirates with 22 steals to average 1.83 per game to rank 14th in the league.

Block Party
ECU has put up 64 blocks to average 5.3 per game which leads Conference USA statistics and is good for 21st in the nation. The Pirates have limited their opponents to 2.7 blocks per game on the year. Junior post Ondrea Shawleads the team with 35 blocks for an average of 2.92 blocks per game which leads the conference and ranks her 12th in the NCAA.

100-Point Games
ECU has recorded 100 or more points on 22 occasions during the program's 44-year history. Most recently, East Carolina dropped 102 points on Virginia Intermont as the Pirates defeated the Cobras by 55 points (102-47). The first time ECU reached the 100-point mark came on December 5, 1978, when the Pirates trounced Wake Forest, 102-48, in Greenville. The most points ever scored by an ECU women's basketball team occurred on February 13, 2004, when the Pirates poured in 119 points in a quadruple overtime loss to TCU, 125-119.

C-USA Freshman of the Week
On Monday, December 16, freshman guard J'Kyra Brownearned her first-ever Conference USA Freshman of the Week honor for her performance at the ULM Warhawk Classic. Brown helped the Pirates to a 1-1 record and an appearance in the Warhawk Classic championship game after averaging 10.5 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 1.0 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, and 0.5 blocks per game. She finished the weekend shooting 53.8-percent from the field, 57.1-percent from beyond the arc, and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Brown poured in 18 points in the Pirates' 85-42 victory over Alcorn State last Friday to secure ECU's place in the championship contest. She earned the honors along with Takia Brooks of Florida Atlantic and Tamara Jones of Southern Miss who took home Co-Player of the Week accolades. Brown is the first Pirate to collect the award this season.

ECU in C-USA
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the top five in 17 of 21 Conference USA statistical categories this season. The Pirates lead the conference in field goal percent defense (35.8), rebounding defense (33.6), rebounding margin (+8.3), blocked shots per game (5.3), steals per game (12.5), offensive rebounds per game (17.3) and offensive rebound percentage (45.5). ECU ranks second in scoring defense (58.6), scoring margin (+18.8) and free throw percentage (74.7). The Pirates are third in field goal percentage (43.0), turnover margin (+4.2) and three point field goals made per game (6.0), while ranking fourth in scoring offense (77.4) and assists per game (14.1). East Carolina ranks fifth in three point field goal percent defense (28.6) and rebounding offense (41.9).

Pirates in C-USA
Four Pirates have found themselves ranked in the top 20 in Conference USA individual statistics this year. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the league in three-point field goal percentage as she is shooting 47.7-percent from beyond the arc. She is also the league-leader in three-point field made per game with 2.6. Payne ranks third in the conference in scoring with 21.9 points per game, third in free throw percentage (87.1), 11th in field goal percentage (50.0), 11th in offensive rebounds per game (2.8) and 15th in rebounds per game (7.0). Junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the conference in assist to turnover ratio (2.2), while ranking fifth in assists per game (4.9). Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is the league-leader in blocks per game with 2.9. She also is tied for 11th in offensive rebounds per game with 2.8. Rounding out the Pirates who rank in C-USA statistics is reshirt junior guard Abria Tricewho is ranked 10th in bouth free throw percentage (83.6) and field goal percentage (50.4). She is also ranked 11th in scoring with 16.0 points per game and tied for 13th in steals per game as she averages 1.8.

The "New" Conference USA
Conference USA was one of the many conferences that saw realignments over the summer. July 1, 2013 marked the addition of Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, LA Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, and UTSA to C-USA. While the conference expanded with the eight new member institutions, it also parted ways with Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF as all four joined the American Athletic Conference. 2013 will mark the last year of ECU's affiliation with Conference USA as the Pirates will join the American Athletic Conference beginning next season.

Notables
• Senior post Ariana Jacksonwill be out indefinitely due to an injury.

Coming Up...
East Carolina opens Conference USA action on Wednesday, January 8, when the Pirates play host to Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Live stats, video and audio will be available on ECUPirates.com.