Women's Basketball to Compete at UAB on Sunday

UABSPORTS.COM Tatiana Chapple
Tatiana Chapple

Feb. 9, 2013

Game 22: East Carolina at UAB
Date Sunday, February 10
Time 3 p.m. (ET)
Location Birmingham, Ala.
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team will take its five-game winning streak to Birmingham, Ala., as the Pirates take on UAB on Sunday, February 10, at 3 p.m. (ET).

The Game: ECU at UAB
East Carolina will take its five-game winning streak to Birmingham, Ala., as the Pirates take on UAB on Sunday, February 10, at 3 p.m. (ET). ECU enters the game with a 16-5 overall record and a 6-2 Conference USA mark, while the Blazers are 13-8 on the season and 4-4 in conference action.

The Series
The Pirates and Blazers will meet for the 23rd time in program history and East Carolina leads the all-time series 13-9. Last season, UAB swept ECU in a pair of contests. In the first contest the Blazers held off the Pirates, 44-39, at Minges Coliseum. In the second, UAB defeated East Carolina, 58-47, at Bartow Arena. The last time ECU defeated UAB was on March 3, 2011 in Birmingham, Ala., when the Pirates edged the Blazers, 56-55.

Last Time Out
The Pirates enter the game against UAB on a five-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 10 contests. In the last five games, ECU has picked up victories over Tulsa (69-63), Tulane (55-52), Marshall (54-47), UCF (59-48), and Houston (68-59). Against the Cougars, Kristine Mial led four Pirates in double-figures as she poured in a career-high 20 points. Mial tallied a season-high 16 points in the first half alone and finished the game with the first 20-point performance of her career. The junior forward also added five rebounds and one assist while shooting 50-percent from both the field and beyond the arc. Celeste Stewart contributed 15 points, four assists, two boards, one block and one steal. Whitny Edwards posted 13 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two assists, while Kyani White recorded 11 points, three assists, a trio of rebounds and one steal. Ariana Jackson led the defense as she tied her career-high with 12 rebounds and added two points, one steal, and one assist. Tatiana Chapple added seven boards to tie her season-high, while registering four points and one assist. The Pirates went on a 9-0 run in the first half and a 15-2 run in the second to secure a 68-59 victory over Houston.

About the Pirates
East Carolina owns a 16-5 overall record and a 6-2 conference mark. The Pirates are riding a five-game winning streak, their longest of the season and their longest under head coach Heather Macy. ECU is averaging 64.8 points per game this season, while limiting their opponents to 54.2, for a scoring margin of +10.6, which ranks in the top 50 in the nation. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 22.1 turnovers per game, while collecting 12.8 steals per contest, which is good for 10th in the nation. The Pirates have four double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (11.7 points per game), Celeste Stewart (11.3 ppg), Britny Edwards (10.5 ppg), and Kristine Mial (10.1 ppg). Britny Edwards is the squad’s rebounding leader as she has collected 189 boards to average 9.0 per contest. She also leads the team in blocks with 29, along with 50-percent shooting. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.6 rebounds per game, and has added 36 steals and 41 assists. In addition to being the team’s second leading scorer, Stewart is the team leader in assists with 89. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 63 rebounds and 33 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 10.1 points per game and has collected 29 rebounds and 14 steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 51 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.4 steals per game. White has also added 5.9 points per game, 66 assists, and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Scouting The Blazers
UAB comes into the contest against ECU with a 13-8 overall record and a 4-4 conference mark. The Blazers have lost three in a row to Southern Miss (54-51), Rice (61-53) and most recently, a triple overtime loss at conference leader SMU (94-92). The Blazers are averaging 63.2 points per game and allowing 55.3. UAB averages 12.6 steals per game and is second behind ECU in the conference. Senior guard Amber Jones leads the Blazers offensively as she averages 14.5 points per game to go along with 4.9 rebounds per game, 52 assists, 48 steals and four blocks. Junior forward Karisma Chapman leads the squad with 6.4 rebounds per contest and 72 steals which is good for second in the conference. Chapman also contributes 12.8 points per game and 42 assists while shooting 41.8-percent. Junior Ashley Grimes averages 11.8 points per game and 3.8 boards per contest. She has also added 38 assists, 27 steals, and 17 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 44-39 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 159-78 career record and is 95-44 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.

UAB: Audra Smith (Virginia, 1992) is in her eighth season as the head coach of the UAB women’s basketball team and has accumulated an impressive 132-23 career record. Under her direction, the Blazers are in the midst of their fourth straight winning season and the program’s best two-year stretch in a decade. Smith’s team capped a 20-win season in 2010-11 with the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) championship and followed that with a 19-11 campaign last season. UAB’s third-place finish in last season’s Conference USA standings marked its third top-3 finish in the past six seasons under Smith. The WBI championship in 2011 was the first-ever postseason title for the UAB women’s basketball team, which won its first three tournament games on the road before defeating Cal State Bakersfield in Birmingham, Ala., in the title game. The victory in the finals secured the Blazers’ first 20-win season since the 2000-01 campaign. With Smith at the helm, UAB has made two postseason appearances, the first came in 2006-07 as she led her squad to the second round of the WNIT.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 50 in eight categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are in 10th in steals per game (12.8), 13th three-point field goal defense (25.2), 17th in turnover margin (5.71), 35th in scoring defense (54.2), 38th in field-goal percent defense (35.4), 40th in assists per game (15.6), 43rd in win-loss percentage (76.2), and 48th in scoring margin (+10.6). The NCAA ranks the top 250 student-athletes and four Pirates rank in six categories. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks 39th in assists to turnover ratio (1.94) and 103rd in steals per game (2.43). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks 84th in assist to turnover ratio (1.59) and 94th in assists per game (4.2), while redshirt senior Britny Edwards ranks 75th in rebounds per game (9.0) and 125th in blocked shots per game (1.38). Whitny Edwards ranks 201st in three-point field goals per game as she averages 1.71.

On This Date in ECU Women’s Basketball History
The East Carolina women’s basketball team has played in 12 contests on February 10th since the program’s inception. The first game that took place on that date was in 1976, when ECU defeated Elon, 91-86. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 8-4 record on February 10th, with their last contest taking place in 2011 against Southern Miss. In that game, the Pirates rolled past the Golden Eagles by a score of 91-67.

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 seventh in career blocks with 74, while Celeste Stewart sits in ninth with 323 career assists.

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 429-274. 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 23 points at Houston on February 7th, while the Cougar’s bench was limited to just eight points. In that contest, ECU defeated Houston, 68-59.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 328 rebounds as Britny has collected a team-leading 189 and Whitny has added 139. Britny is averaging 9.0 rebounds per game which ranks second in the conference. Additionally, she is in second in defensive rebounds per game (5.6) and fourth in offensive rebounds per game (3.4) in Conference USA. This season, Britny Edwards has recorded a pair of 15-plus rebound games, while last Sunday, February 3, Whitny Edwards notched a season-best 11 rebounds in the Pirates 59-48 win over UCF.

Getting Offensive
This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents 64.8 points per game to 54.2 to boast a scoring margin of +10.6, which ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA and leads Conference USA. A large part of the offense has come from seniors Whitny Edwards, Celeste Stewart, and Britny Edwards. Whitny is the Pirates’ leading scorer as she averages 11.7 points per game. Stewart is right behind her as she averages 11.3 points per game, while Britny Edwards is averaging 10.5 points per game.  

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 51 steals to average 2.4 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 tied for eighth in Conference USA in steals per contest.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 89 assists this season to average 4.2 assists per game which is good for a third-place tie in Conference USA statistics. She is currently in ninth place in the ECU career record books with 323 in her career. Stewart is fifth in the conference in assists to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.6. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has amassed 66 assists on the year and she sets the standard in C-USA in assist to turnover ratio (1.9).

Block Party
Redshirt senior Britny Edwards tied a career-high five blocks in the Pirates’ season opener at William & Mary. This season, Edwards has posted a team-leading 29 blocks to average 1.4 blocks per game which is good 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. She is now ranked seventh on the all-time blocks list with a total of 74.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in six categories. East Carolina has set the standard in scoring defense (54.2), scoring margin (+10.6), three-point field goal percent defense (.252), steals per game (12.8), turnover margin (+5.7), and three-point field goals made per game (5.4) The Pirates rank in the top five in 15 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 leads the conference in assist to turnover ratio (1.9) and is tied for eighth in steals per game (2.4). Redshirt senior Britny Edwards is ranked second in rebounds per game (9.0), second in defensive rebounds per game (5.6), fourth in field goal percentage (.500), fourth in offensive rebounds per game (3.4), and is tied for fifth blocked shots per game (1.4). Senior Celeste Stewart is tied for third in assists per game (4.2), fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.6), and tied for eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.346). Redshirt senior Whitny Edwards is sixth in the conference in three-point field goals made per game as she averages 1.7.

Coming Up...
The Pirates return to Minges Coliseum to play host to SMU which leads the confernece standings with an unblemished league record (8-0). East Carolina and SMU will face off on Thursday, February 14, at 7 p.m. Live stats, video and a live internet broadcast will be available on ECUPirates.com