Lady Pirates Set to Host Tulsa

UABSPORTS.COM Whitny Edwards
Whitny Edwards

Jan. 19, 2013

Game 17: Tulsa at East Carolina
Date Sunday, January 20
Time 1 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when the Pirates play host to conference foe Tulsa on Sunday, January 20, at 1 p.m. at Minges Coliseum.

The Game: Tulsa at ECU
East Carolina returns to Minges Coliseum after a pair of road games at UTEP and Memphis. The Pirates will play host to Tulsa on Sunday, January 20, at 1 p.m. Both squads are 1-2 in Conference USA action, and ECU owns an 11-5 overall mark, while Tulsa is 6-10 on the season.

The Series
The meeting between the Pirates and Golden Hurricane marks the 11th in program history and the all-time series is evened at 5-5. Last season, ECU and Tulsa met in both the regular season and Conference USA Tournament. During the regular season the Golden Hurricane defeated the Pirates, 75-70, on February 19th in Tulsa, Okla. However, in the conference tournament, East Carolina ended Tulsa’s season after collecting a 59-49 victory over the Golden Hurricane on March 7th at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.

Last Time Out
The Pirates are looking to rebound from a couple of losses on the road as ECU fell to UTEP before losing at Memphis on Thursday night. At Memphis, redshirt senior center Britny Edwards led the squad with her seventh double-double of the season as she notched 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. She also posted two blocks, a pair of steals and one assist in the setback. Whitny Edwards added 13 points with six boards, a team-leading four assists, and one steal, while Celeste Stewart also posted 13 points and contributed three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Kristine Mial notched eight points, two rebounds, a pair of assists, one block and one steal. Despite leading the game at halftime by a score of 28-21, the Pirates fell to the Tigers, 66-56.

About the Pirates
East Carolina returns to Greenville, N.C., with an 11-5 overall record and a 1-2 C-USA mark. The Pirates are averaging 66.0 points per game this season, while limiting their opponents to 54.3. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 23.6 turnovers per game, while collecting 13.5 steals per contest, which is good for seventh in the nation. The Pirates have three double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (11.9 points per game), Britny Edwards (11.6), and Celeste Stewart (10.3). Britny Edwards is the squad’s rebounding leader as she has collected 142 boards to average 8.9 per contest. She is also leads the team in blocks with 24, along with a 53.0 shooting percentage which ranks 28th in the NCAA. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.4 rebounds per game, and has added 24 steals and 33 assists. In addition to averaging 10.3 points per game, Stewart is the team leader with 70 assists. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 50 rebounds and 29 steals. Junior Kristine 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 is averaging 9.3 points per game and has collected 12 rebounds and six steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 43 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.7 steals per game. White has also added 5.4 points per game, 53 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Scouting The Golden Hurricane
Tulsa comes into the game against the Pirates with a 6-10 overall record and a 1-2 conference ledger. The Golden Hurricane opened conference play with a pair of losses against UTEP (71-64) and Rice (56-53), before defeating Marshall, 67-49, last Thursday. Tulsa is averaging 65.6 points per game and allowing its opponents 62.2. The Golden Hurricane is shooting 37.4-percent as a team and averaging 10.6 steals per contest. Senior Taleya Mayberry leads the team and conference with 19.4 points per game, 69 assists, and 45 steals. Tiffani Couisnard is averaging 9.3 points per game, with a team-leading 8.9 rebounds per game. She is shooting 43.4-percent from the floor and has contributed 30 steals, 29 assists and 13 blocks. Freshman guard Kelsee Grovey has started in 12 of 14 games and is averaging 9.8 points per game to go along with 2.5 boards per game, 28 assists, 24 steals, and a pair of blocks.

The Coaches
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 39-39 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 154-78 career record and is 90-44 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.

Tulsa: Matilda Mossman (Western Kentucky, 1979) is in her second season at the helm of the Tulsa women’s basketball program. In her first year, she guided her team to 13 wins marking the most for the Golden Hurricane since the 2006 season. Mossman owns a career record of 166-118 which spans a nine-year collegiate head coaching career. She had a 67-27 mark at Arkansas from 1981-84, an 80-66 record at Kansas State from 1984-89, and a 13-15 ledger in her first year at Tulsa. Mossman owns 16 years of head coaching experience and a 354-163 overall record as she has served as both a collegiate and high school head coach for a total of 18 years.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 50 in six categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are in seventh in steals per game (13.5), 13th in turnover margin (6.5), 29th in assists per game (16.3), 39th in scoring defense (54.3), and 48th in both scoring margin (+11.7) and field goal percent defense (35.4). Individually, redshirt senior Britny Edwards is the only Pirate to rank in the Top 50 as she comes in 28th with a 53.0 field goal percentage.

On This Date in ECU Women’s Basketball History
The East Carolina women’s basketball team has played in 13 contests on January 20th since the program’s inception. The first game took place in 1976, when ECU trounced Duke, 72-31, in Durham, N.C. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 9-4 record on January 20th, with their last contest taking place in 2008 against Tulsa in a Conference USA game at Minges Coliseum. In that game, the Pirates defeated the Golden Hurricane, 62-52. ECU owns a 4-0 record when playing in Greenville, N.C., on January 20th.

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 69, while Celeste Stewart sits in ninth with 304 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 352-229. 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 245 rebounds as Britny has collected 142 and Whitny has added 103. Britny is averaging 8.9 rebounds per game which ranks fourth in the conference. Additionally, she is third in defensive rebounds (5.6) and fourth in offensive rebounds (3.3) in Conference USA.

Getting Offensive
This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents 66.0 points per game to 54.3 to boast a scoring margin of +11.7, which ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA and second in C-USA. A large part of the offense has come from redshirt seniors Whitny and Britny Edwards. Whitny is the Pirates’ leading scorer as she averages 11.9 points per game, however, Britny is hot on her heels with an average of 11.6 points per contest. Additionally, Britny is leading the team with a 53.0-percent shooting clip to rank second in C-USA and 28th in the nation.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 43 steals to average 2.7 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 eighth in Conference USA in steals per contest.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 70 assists this season to average 4.4 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 304 in her career.

Block Party
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 24 blocks to average 1.5 blocks per game which ties for third 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 three categories. East Carolina has set the standard in steals per game (13.5), turnover margin (+6.5), and offensive rebounds per game (16.9). 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. Redshirt senior Britny Edwards boasts a .530 field goal percentage which is second in the conference and 28th in the nation. Additionally, Britny Edwards ranks third in defensive rebounds per game (5.6), tied for third in blocked shots (1.5), fourth in rebounds (8.9), and fourth in offensive rebounds (3.3). Senior point guard Celeste Stewart ranks second in assists per game (4.4), seventh in assists to turnover ratio (1.6) and 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.327). Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks fourth in the conference in assists to turnover ratio (1.8) and eighth in steals per game (2.7), while Whitny Edwards ranks seventh in three-point field goals made (1.7).

Coming Up...
The Pirates hit the road again, this time to take on Tulane in New Orleans, La., on Sunday, January 27, at 3 p.m. (ET). East Carolina and Tulane will meet for the 16th time in program history and the Green Wave leads the all-time series 12-3. Last season, Tulane defeated East Carolina, 63-49, in Greenville, N.C., before ending the Pirates’ season with a 67-51 win at the Conference USA Quarterfinals in Memphis, Tenn.