Jan. 29, 2010
East Carolina Women's Basketball Gameday Central
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team takes on Conference USA's top team for the second-straight contest, as it hosts Memphis Saturday afternoon at 4:30 at Minges Coliseum.
The Lady Pirates knocked off UAB in overtime Thureday, 78-74, and improved to 10-0 at home, matching the 1981-82 team for the program's best record at Minges Coliseum to start a season. With the victory, ECU moved a half-game ahead of the Blazers in the league standings for second-place, as Rice pulled the upset of then C-USA co-leader SMU at home, 61-58.
Sophomore Ashley Clarke registered her third double-double of the season in the UAB contest, pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds while dishing out 10 assists. Four Lady Pirates complemented Clarke's fine night with double figure scoring. Kim Gay led all Lady Pirates with a career-best 19 points, including a 3-for-3 performance from beyond the arc, while Kelly Smith, Allison Spivey and Chareya Smith added 15, 12 and 11 respectively. Additionally, Spivey and Chareya Smith both pulled down a squad second-best eight rebounds while Kelly Smith drained four of her six three-point attempts.
ECU recovered from a rough first half by turning in a .583 mark from the field in the second period. The Lady Pirates ended up with the .434-.397 advantage in shooting while also dominating on the boards, 46-34. East Carolina also hit a season-high 11 three-point field goals and finished with a .611 mark from beyond the arc. The Lady Pirates shared the ball well, notching 19 assists on 23 baskets.
Five Lady Pirates are averaging 7.5 or more points per game, led by Clarke's 12.7 mark. Spivey is also putting in double figures with 11.5 points per contest. Gay serves as the leading rebounder for East Carolina, pulling down an average of 5.3 boards through 20 contests. Clarke also leads the squad in minutes played (633), field goals made (90), free throws made (70), assists (110) and steals (50), while ranking second in rebounds (4.8 per game).
The Lady Pirates are shooting the ball extremely well this season, firing at a .475 clip, which is good for first in C-USA and fifth in the nation. ECU also enjoys a league-high +5.1 rebounding margin while ranking second in assists with 16.5 per contest (!6th nationally). Furthermore, the Lady Pirates have upped their three-point shooting percentage to 38.9, first in C-USA and 11th in the country.
Memphis enters the contest as the hottest team in the league, having won four-straight conference tilts to claim first-place in the standings with a 5-1 ledger. Sophomore Brittany Carter, a transfer from the University of Georgia, leads the Tigers in scoring at 18.1 points per game while Savannah Ellis paces the squad in rebounding with 6.7 per contest.
As a team, Memphis is shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 29.0 from beyond the arc while holding opponents to 37.1 and 30.0 averages, respectively. The Tigers are getting outrebounding slightly 42.7-41.5 but own a +3.9 turnover margin, which ranks second in C-USA.
THE SERIES: MEMPHIS
ECU and Memphis will meet for the 14th time in a series that dates back to 2002. The Lady Pirates own a 7-6 record against the Tigers but have lost three of the last four meetings. ECU and Memphis split a pair of tilts last season, with each squad winning on its home court. The Lady Pirates have won five of the six games played at Minges Coliseum.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
East Carolina sports a 278-160 (.635) record inside Minges Coliseum since the arena opened in 1975. Last season, the squad went 12-2 (.857) at home, matching the second-most single-season home wins in program history. The Lady Pirates are 302-163 (.649) when playing in Greenville, spending their first six seasons at an on-campus alternate site while Minges was erected. ECU has been equally effective on its home court under Baldwin-Tener, having accumulated a 71-34 (.676) mark, including a 36-21 (.632) ledger against C-USA competition.
THE AFTERMATH: UAB
East Carolina won its fifth-straight contest against UAB, pushing its series lead to 11-6 ... The Lady Pirates improved to 10-0 at home this season and have won 22 of their last 24 games at Minges Coliseum ... Sophomore Ashley Clarke notched her third career double-double and third this season, pulling down a personal-best 11 rebounds while match- ing her single-game high with 10 assists ... Junior Kim Gay led four ECU players in scoring, netting a career-high 19 points while Kelly Smith, Allison Spivey and Chareya Smith added 15, 12 and 11 respectively ... Kelly Smith hit four three-pointers, marking the third time this season she has hit four or more in a contest ... The Lady Pirates hit a season-high 11 three-point field goals in the game ... ECU recorded 19 assists on 23 made baskets.
A NEW RECORD IN SIGHT
With a win over Memphis Saturday, the Lady Pirates can set a school record with 11-straight home victories to begin the season. ECU is currently tied with the 1981-82 squad, which also ran off 10-straight home wins to start the campaign. The Lady Pirates can also match the third-most single-season victories at Minges Coliseum as 13 is the standard. East Carolina won 13 contests in the facility in consecutive seasons from 1985-87.
KEEP THEM OFF THE GLASS
In seven conference games this season, the Lady Pirates have given up 119 offensive rebounds, an average of 17 per contest. That mark has led to 116 second chance points for opponents.
VALUE EVERY POSSESSION
ECU has reached the 20-turnover mark 15 times this season, including 29 against UCF. That has led to a turnover margin of -1.6. Additionally, teams have scored 384 points off of those giveaways.
MAKING IT RUN
Ashley Clarke has steadily improved during her sophomore campaign, having a greater ability to make the offense go this season. Of the Lady Pirates' 535 field goals, Clarke has made or assisted on 200 of them, a percentage of .374. Allison Spivey has the second-best mark on the squad at .262 (140-of-535).
INTO THE WEST
When comparing the Lady Pirate record against the East and West schools in Conference USA, there lies a striking contrast. Since joining the league, East Carolina is 39-25 (.609) versus its East neighbors and just 15-26 (.366) against the West. So far in 2009-10, the Lady Pirates have picked up wins over Marshall, Southern Miss, UCF and UAB from the East and Houston from the West while dropping decisions to West foes Rice and SMU.
UP NEXT FOR THE LADY PIRATES
After battling Memphis, the Lady Pirates hit the road for two games at Southern Miss and UCF. ECU defeated both teams by double digits in Greenville at the beginning of January as part of a 3-0 start to C-USA play. The Lady Pirates suffered losses in Orlando and Hattiesburg last season, falling 68-60 to the Golden Eagles and 73-62 to the Knights.