Women's Basketball Welcomes Marshall to Minges Coliseum

UABSPORTS.COM Colleen Marshall
Colleen Marshall

Jan. 30, 2013

Game 19: Marshall at East Carolina
Date Thursday, January 31
Time 7 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 will play host to Conference USA foe Marshall on Thursday, January 31 at Minges Coliseum. Tip-off for the contest is set for 7 p.m., in a game that celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

The Game: Marshall at ECU
East Carolina returns to the friendly confines of Minges Coliseum to play host to the Marshall Thundering Herd on Thursday, January 31, for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Pirates hold a 3-2 Conference USA record and are 13-5 overall, while the Herd are looking for their first conference win as they have an 0-5 C-USA ledger and are 6-12 on the year.

The Series
The Pirates and Thundering Herd will face off for the 18th time in program history and ECU leads the all-time series 11-6. Last season, ECU swept Marshall with a 61-57 win at Minges Coliseum on February 12, before the Pirates edged the Herd, 63-62, in overtime in Huntington, W. Va., on February 26. The Pirates have won the last six games against the Thundering Herd as Marshall has not defeated East Carolina since January 18, 2009, by a score of 85-83 at the Cam Henderson Center.

Last Time Out
The Pirates enter the game against Marshall after having collected a pair of last minute conference victories against Tulsa (69-63) and Tulane (55-52). In the game against Tulane, ECU used the final four minutes of the game to turn a five-point deficit into a three-point victory. For the second time in as many games, senior point guard Celeste Stewart hit a game-changing shot to give the Pirates the momentum they needed to put the game away. Stewart finished the game with a game-high 14 points and four rebounds, while redshirt senior center Britny Edwards recorded her team-leading eighth double-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal. Whitny Edwards added nine points, five boards, a pair of steals, and an assist, while Kyani White posted eight points, four steals, three rebounds, and one assist in the Pirates' victory.

About the Pirates
East Carolina returns to Minges Coliseum with a 13-5 overall and a 3-2 conference mark. The Pirates own an impressive 8-1 record at home and are 2-0 at home in C-USA action. ECU's only loss at Minges Coliseum came on November 17, 2012, against College of Charleston. The Pirates are averaging 65.6 points per game this season, while limiting their opponents to 54.7, for a scoring margin of +10.9. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 23.1 turnovers per game, while collecting 13.2 steals per contest, which is good for sixth in the nation. The Pirates have three double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (11.6 points per game), Britny Edwards (11.3), and Celeste Stewart (10.7). Britny Edwards is the squad's rebounding leader as she has collected 159 boards to average 8.8 per contest. She also leads the team in blocks with 28, along with a 50.6-shooting percentage. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.4 rebounds per game, and has added 29 steals and 35 assists. In addition to averaging 10.7 points per game, Stewart is the team leader in assists with 77. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 57 rebounds and 30 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 9.6 points per game and has collected 19 rebounds and seven steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 47 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.6 steals per game. White has also added 5.6 points per game, 56 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Scouting The Thundering Herd
Marshall enters the game against ECU with an overall record of 6-12 and is looking for its first Conference USA victory as the Thundering Herd holds a league record of 0-5. The Herd is looking to snap a seven-game losing streak which dates back to December 22, 2012. Marshall's five conference losses came at the hands of Southern Miss (48-46), Tulane (67-57), Tulsa (67-49), Houston (71-63), and UAB (61-45). Sophomore Shay Weaver leads the squad with 10.2 points per game. She has also contributed 2.6 rebounds per game, 18 steals and 15 blocks. The Herd's leader in rebounds is Chukwuka Ezeigbo who averages 6.1 boards per contest. The sophomore forward adds 8.4 points per game, a team-high 25 blocks and 11 steals, while shooting 51.5-percent. Norrisha Victrum, a freshman guard, is the team leader in assists with 46. She is also averaging 8.2 points per game and 2.7 rebounds per game to go along with 13 steals.

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 41-39 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 156-78 career record and is 92-44 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.

Marshall: Matt Daniel (Harding, 1998) is in his first year with the Marshall women's basketball team. He came to Huntington, W. Va., after building a successful NCAA I women's basketball program at Central Arkansas. At UCA, Daniel complied a career head coaching record of 72-50, and finished his last three seasons at UCA with a 66-26 mark. During his four years with the Sugar Bears, Daniel took UCA from Division II to the Division I level and guided a program that had two consecutive 20-loss seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09) to its first Division I conference championship with the Southland Conference. In addition, Daniel led his squad to two postseason tournaments (2011 WBI and 2012 WNIT) and three straight 21-win seasons. He was named the 2010 and 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 50 in seven categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are in sixth in steals per game (13.2), ninth in turnover margin (6.5), 38th in assists per game (15.7), 38th in scoring defense (54.7), 40th in three-point field goal defense (26.7), 49th in scoring margin (+10.9), and 50th in assist to turnover ratio (0.95). The NCAA ranks the top 250 student-athletes and three Pirates rank in five categories. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks 61st in assists to turnover ratio (1.75) and 80th in steals per game (2.6). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks 91st in assists per game (4.3) and 95th in assists to turnover ratio (1.54), while redshirt senior Britny Edwards ranks 83rd in blocked shots per game (1.56) and 88th in rebounds per game (8.8).

On This Date in ECU Women's Basketball History
The East Carolina women's basketball team has played in 12 contests on January 31st since the program's inception. The first game that took place on this date was in 1974, when ECU fell short at Elon, 54-53. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 6-6 record on January 31st, with their last contest taking place in 2009 at Southern Miss. In that game, the Eagles defeated the Pirates, 68-60. ECU owns a 1-1 record on January 31st when playing current C-USA opponents.

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 tied for seventh in career blocks with 73, while Celeste Stewart sits in ninth with 311 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 388-259. 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 24 points versus' Tulsa on January 20, while the Golden Hurricane's bench was limited to just seven points. In that contest, ECU defeated Tulsa, 69-63.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 275 rebounds as Britny has collected 159 and Whitny has added 116. Britny is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game which ranks third in the conference. Additionally, she is third in defensive rebounds (5.6) and tied for fourth in offensive rebounds (3.3) in Conference USA.

Getting Offensive
This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents 65.6 points per game to 54.7 to boast a scoring margin of +10.9, which ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA and third in Conference USA. A large part of the offense has come from redshirt seniors Whitny and Britny Edwards along with senior Celeste Stewart. Whitny is the Pirates' leading scorer as she averages 11.6 points per game. Britny is hot on her heels with an average of 11.3 points per contest, while Stewart averages 10.7 points per game. Additionally, Britny is leading the team with a 50.6-percent shooting clip to rank fourth in C-USA.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 47 steals to average 2.6 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 seventh in Conference USA in steals per contest.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 77 assists this season to average 4.3 assists per game which is good for third in Conference USA statistics. She is currently in ninth place in the ECU career record books with 311 in her career. Stewart is seventh in the conference in assists to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.5. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has accumulated 56 steals on the season and she ranks second in C-USA in assist to turnover ratio (1.8).

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 28 blocks to average 1.6 blocks per game which ties for second 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. She is now tied for seventh on the all-time blocks list with a total of 73.

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 (13.2), turnover margin (+6.5), and offensive rebounds per game (16.4). The Pirates rank in the top five in 13 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 sophomore Kyani White ranks second in assist to turnover ratio (1.8) and seventh in steals per game (2.6). Redshirt senior Britny Edwards is tied for second in blocks per game (1.6), third in both rebounds per game (8.8), and defensive rebounds (5.6), fourth in field goal percentage (.506), and is tied for fourth in offensive rebounds (3.3). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks third in assists per game as she averages 4.3 and seventh in assist to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.5. Redshirt senior Whitny Edwards is sixth in the conference in three-point field goals made as she averages 1.6 per game.

Coming Up...
The Pirates welcome UCF to Greenville, N.C., for a Sunday afternoon Conference USA affair. ECU and UCF will tip-off at 1 p.m. on February 3, at Minges Coliseum. The meeting marks the 15th contest in program history between the two squads and East Carolina leads the all-time series 9-5. Live stats, video, and a live internet broadcast will be available on ECUPirates.com.