Feb. 3, 2010
East Carolina Women's Basketball Gameday Central
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Coming off a pair of home victories over UAB and Memphis, the East Carolina women's basketball team hits the road for a contest with Southern Miss Thursday at Reed Green Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
The Lady Pirates (17-4, 6-2) defeated the Golden Eagles (5-15, 1-6) earlier this season in Greenville, capturing a 76-50 decision at Minges Coliseum. Sophomore Chareya Smith tallied her first career double-double in the tilt, scoring 11 points to go along with a career-best matching 10 rebounds.
While ECU has racked up a 5-0 home record in league play, it is just 1-2 on the road with an overtime win at Houston and losses to Rice and SMU. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles collected their first C-USA victory with a 74-63 home win over UTEP last Saturday night.
Junior Kim Gay notched her second double-double of the season Saturday against the Tigers, picking up 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Pirates also shot 56 percent in the contest, marking the 10th time they have surpassed the 50-perecent plateau this season. Furthermore, East Carolina set a school record with its 11th-straight home win and improved to 11-0 at Minges this campaign. The Lady Pirates have won 23 of their last 25 home affairs.
With the win, ECU pulled a half-game ahead of Memphis for first-place in the C-USA standings. Additionally, the squad matched the 2008-09 team with 17 regular season victories while producing the best eight-game start to C-USA play (6-2) since joining the league prior to the 2001-02 campaign.
Sophomore Ashley Clarke
leads the way for the Lady Pirates, averaging 12.8 points per game while junior Allison Spivey
is also scoring double figures with 11.6 a contest. Clarke also paces the squad in minutes played (31.9), field goals made (96), free throws made (73), assists (118), assists per game (5.6) and steals (51).
East Carolina resides in the top three in C-USA in 11 statistical categories, including first in scoring offense (75.0), field goal percentage (.479), three-point field goal percentage (.391) and rebounding margin (+5.4).
Southern Miss is led by preseason all-conference honoree Pauline Love, who has registered team-high marks of 16.8 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. Candace Rucker and Tanesha Washington also score in double figures on average, with 11.1 and 10.4 showings, respectively.
The Golden Eagles are shooting at a .402 clip from the field, .320 from beyond the arc and .662 at the free throw line. Southern Miss duels its opponents to a near deadlock on the glass, as it owns a -0.8 rebounding margin.
The contest features the top three-point shooting team in the league in ECU, while the Golden Eagles are the leaders in three-point field goal percentage defense, which will make for an interesting matchup for Lady Pirate sharpshooters Spivey and Kelly Smith. The duo has combined for 80 triples this season and are 90-for-184 - a percentage of 48.9.
THE SERIES: SOUTHERN MISS
Today's contest marks the 14th in a series that began in 2002, East Carolina's first season as a member of Conference USA. The Lady Pirates have an 8-5 lead and have won five of the last six meetings but look to avenge a 68-60 loss last year in Hattiesburg.
AT THEIR PLACE
The Lady Pirates are credited with a 275-327 (.457) record away from Greenville since the program began before the 1969-70 campaign. In 2008-09, ECU was 3-9 in true road contests while 3-2 at neutral sites. Since Baldwin-Tener took over the reigns, the Lady Pirates are 47-73 (.392) in front of non-partisan crowds. The team was just 1-7 in league games on the road last season, salvaging a 70-60 win at UAB in the final conference away contest of 2008-09.
ROAD TRIPS NOT KIND
Over the past three seasons, conference play on the road has been a thorn in East Carolina's side. Since the start of league action in 2007-08, the Lady Pirates have picked up just four wins away from Minges Coliseum in 19 tries.
KEEP THEM OFF THE GLASS
In seven conference games this season, the Lady Pirates have given up 142 offensive rebounds, an average of 17.8 per contest. That mark has led to 125 second chance points for opponents.
VALUE EVERY POSSESSION
ECU has reached the 20-turnover mark 16 times this season, including 29 against UCF. That has led to a turnover margin of -2.1. Additionally, teams have scored 404 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' 564 field goals, Clarke has made or assisted on 214 of them, a percentage of .379. Allison Spivey has the second-best mark on the squad at .259 (146-of-564).
AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS
The Lady Pirates are among the top 50 in many categories in the latest national rankings. ECU is fourth in field goal percentage (.479), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.391), 14th in assists per game (16.5), 23rd in scoring (75.0) and winning percentage (.810), 42nd in scoring margin (+11.0) and rebound margin (+5.4), and 50th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.288). Additionally, Allison Spivey checks in at 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.467) while Ashley Clarke is 21st in assists (5.6) and 78th in steals (2.4).
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 40-25 (.615) 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 all five of the East members (Marshall, Southern Miss, UCF, UAB and Memphis) and Houston from the West while dropping decisions to West foes Rice and SMU.
ECU has used its balance to its advantage this season. The Lady Pirates have six players averaging 7.4 or more points per game while every member of the 2009-10 roster played, scored and had a rebound in the 103-59 win over Houston-Baptist. There are also six players averaging more than 20 minutes per game. In C-USA games, three players are putting in double figures in scoring.
UP NEXT FOR THE LADY PIRATES
After battling Southern Miss, the Lady Pirates will travel to UCF and try to redeem themselves for a 73-62 loss last season at the UCF Arena. ECU defeated the Knights by that same count earlier this year in Greenville after holding as much as a 19-point lead in the second half. The Lady Pirates are 7-2 all-time against UCF and 2-2 in Orlando.