ECU Looks to Continue Hot Streak at Marshall

Shala Hodges

Feb. 20, 2013

Game 25: East Carolina at Marshall
Date Thursday, February 21
Time 7 p.m. (EST)
Location Huntington, W. Va. | Cam Henderson Center
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2012-13 Women's Basketball Statistics East Carolina | Marshall
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Having won seven of their last eight contests, the ECU women's basketball team looks to continue its winning ways when the Pirates head to Marshall for a Thursday evening contest. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., on February 21.

The Game: ECU at Marshall
East Carolina travels to Huntington, W. Va., for a mid-week conference contest at Marshall on Thursday, February 21. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The Pirates own an 18-6 overall record and are in second place in C-USA with an 8-3 league mark. The Thundering Herd is 8-16 on the year and 2-9 in conference play.

The Series
The Pirates and Thundering Herd will meet for the 19th time in program history and ECU leads the all-time series 12-6. Last month East Carolina defeated Marshall 54-47 at Minges Coliseum to mark the seventh straight victory for ECU over the Thundering Herd. Marshall has not been victorious over the Pirates since January 18, 2009, when the Herd edged out ECU, 85-83, in Huntington, W. Va.

Last Time Out
The Pirates are coming off of an 82-60 victory over Southern Miss last Sunday in which they were led by junior forward Kristine Mial who tallied her first double-double of the season. Mial led a quartet of Pirates in double-figures as she notched a game-high 19 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Additionally, she added two assists, one steal and one block while shooting 50-percent from the field, 33.3-percent from beyond the arc and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Whitny Edwards added 15 points, three assists, two steals and as many boards, while Kyani White tied her career-high with 12 points, four assists, two rebounds, and one steal. Celeste Stewart notched 11 points, five boards, three assists, and one steal in the victory. Following a pair of outstanding offensive performances in which she averaged 18.5 points per game, Stewart was named Conference USA Co-Player of the Week.The Pirates used a second half offensive surge, in which they shot 61.5-percent from the field to lead by as many as 23 and claim the win.

About the Pirates
East Carolina owns a 18-6 overall record and a 8-3 conference mark. The Pirates' 18 wins are the most under head coach Heather Macy and the most since the 2009-10 season in which East Carolina made an appearance in the WNIT. ECU is averaging 65.2 points per game this season, while limiting their opponents to 54.5 to lead the conference, for a scoring margin of +10.7, which is a league best. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 21.8 turnovers per game, while collecting 12.5 steals per contest, which is good for 10th in the nation. The Pirates have three double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (12.2 points per game), Celeste Stewart (11.6 ppg), and Britny Edwards (10.3 ppg). Britny Edwards is also the squad's rebounding leader as she has collected 207 boards to average 8.6 per contest. She also leads the team in blocks with 30, along with 50-percent shooting. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.1 rebounds per game, and has added 41 steals and 44 assists. In addition to being the team's second leading scorer, Stewart is the team leader in assists with 97. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 71 rebounds and 36 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 49 rebounds and 16 steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 56 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.3 steals per game. White has also added 6.3 points per game, 77 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Scouting The Thundering Herd
Marshall enters the game against East Carolina with an 8-16 overall record and a 2-9 conference mark. The Thundering Herd's only two conference wins came against Memphis (55-54) and UTEP (59-47). Marshall is averaging 54.3 points per game and is shooting 37.8-percent from the field. The Thundering Herd holds a slight edge on rebounds over their opponents as the Herd averages 36.5 boards per game to their counterparts' 35.5. Shay Weaver leads the Herd on offense as she averages 9.6 points per game. She has seen action in all 24 games and has started in 11. Chukwuka Ezeigbo leads the team in rebounds with 6.3 per game. She also averages 8.2 points per contest while leading the Herd in blocks (32).

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 46-40 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 161-79 career record and is 97-45 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 10th in steals per game (12.6), 14th in three-point field goal percent defense (25.6), 17th in turnover margin (5.58), 38th in scoring defense (54.5), 39th in scoring margin (+10.7), 41st in assists per game (15.5), and 46th in win/loss percentage (75.0). The NCAA ranks the top 250 student-athletes and four Pirates rank in six categories. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White ranks 38th in assists to turnover ratio (1.97) and 123rd in steals per game (2.33). Senior Celeste Stewart ranks 101st in assist to turnover ratio (1.47) and 111th in assists per game (4.0), while redshirt senior Britny Edwards ranks 93rd in rebounds per game (8.6) and 159th in blocked shots per game (1.25). Whitny Edwards ranks 173rd in three-point field goals per game as she averages 1.79.

On This Date in ECU Women's Basketball History
The East Carolina women's basketball team has played in 14 contests on February 21st since the program's inception. The first game that took place on that date was in 1973 when the Pirates defeated Old Dominion, 69-37. Since then, the Pirates have recorded a 10-4 record on February 21st, with their last contest taking place in 2010 against Tulsa. In that game, the Golden Hurricane held off ECU, 61-57, at Minges Coliseum. One of the most memorable games ever played in ECU women's basketball history took place on February 21, 1982, when East Carolina routed Western Kentucky by a score of 108-54. The 108 points still ranks in the top five in point totals in ECU women's basketball history.

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 75, while Celeste Stewart sits in eighth with 331 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 435-292. 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 38 points against Southern Miss on February 17th, while the Golden Eagles' bench was limited to just 10 points. In that contest, ECU defeated Southern Miss, 82-60.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 353 rebounds as Britny has collected a team-leading 207 and Whitny has added 146. Britny is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game which ranks her fifth in the conference. Additionally, she is fourth in defensive rebounds per game (5.4) and tied for sixth in offensive rebounds per game (3.2) in C-USA. This season, Britny Edwards has recorded a pair of 15-plus rebound games, while on 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 65.2 points per game to 54.5 to boast a scoring margin of +10.7, which leads the conference and ranks 10th in the nation. 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 12.2 points per game. Stewart is right behind her as she averages 11.6 points per game, while Britny Edwards is averaging 10.3 points per game.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 56 steals to average 2.3 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 place in Conference USA in steals per contest.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart has dished out a team-leading 97 assists this season to average 4.0 assists per game which is good for a fourth-place tie in Conference USA statistics. She is currently in eighth place in the ECU career record books with 331 in her career. Stewart is fifth in the conference in assists to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.5. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has amassed 77 assists on the year and she is second in C-USA in assist to turnover ratio (2.0).

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 30 blocks to average 1.3 blocks per game which ties her for sixth 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 75.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in four categories. East Carolina has set the standard in scoring defense (54.5), scoring margin (+10.7), steals per game (12.5), and turnover margin (+5.6). 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 is second in the conference in assist to turnover ratio (2.0) and is tied for eighth in steals per game (2.3). Redshirt senior Britny Edwards is fourth in defensive rebounds per game (5.4), fourth in field-goal percentage (.500), fifth in rebounds per game (8.6), tied for sixth in offensive rebounds per game (3.2), and tied for seventh in blocks per game (1.3). Senior Celeste Stewart is tied for fourth in assists per game (4.0), fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.5), and tied for fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.333). Redshirt senior Whitny Edwards is tied for fifth in the conference in three-point field goals made per game as she averages 1.8.

Coming Up...
The Pirates continue their road swing as they travel to Orlando, Fla., to battle it out with UCF. The Knights are 11-14 overall and 5-6 in C-USA action. The two teams will meet on Sunday, February 24, at 2 p.m. ECU and UCF met earlier this season and the Pirates defeated the Knights, 59-48, at Minges Coliseum.