Feb. 24, 2010
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team looks to snap a two-game skid, traveling to Birmingham, Ala. for a matchup with UAB. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET Thursday at Bartow Arena. ECU defeated the Blazers in overtime, 78-74, earlier this season in Greenville.
In their final home contest against Tulsa last Sunday, the Lady Pirates fell 61-57 to drop to 18-8 overall and 7-6 in Conference USA play. ECU has now lost six of its last nine games and two-straight. The Blazers are on a similar skid, having secured just one win in their last nine affairs.
Ashley Clarke grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds and added 11 assists against Tulsa for her fourth double-double of the year. She was just five points away from recording the first triple-double in program history.
Kim Gay and Chareya Smith shared the Lady Pirate lead in scoring with nine points each while Ariana Jackson pulled down a team second-best nine boards, a career high. Additionally, four ECU players recorded a block.
The Lady Pirates struggled from the field, hitting just 21 of their 60 attempts (35 percent), but the Golden Hurricane converted just 31.9 percent on 23-for-72 shooting. East Carolina ended up outrebounding Tulsa 52-42 and picked up the second-most total boards this season. The Lady Pirates also shared the ball well, recording 18 assists on 21 baskets. The Golden Hurricane helped its cause with 20 second-chance points. Additionally, ECU committed a season-low 14 turnovers but Tulsa had just six.
Clarke paces the Lady Pirate league-leading offense with 12.0 points per game while Allison Spivey
also averages double figures at 11.0 a contest. It is a balanced attack with three other players putting in at least 7.6 points per game. Gay leads the team on the glass, pulling down 5.5 rebounds over 26 games.
Freshman sensation Jala Harris leads UAB with 16.9 points per game, but more impressively, leads the conference in scoring in league games at 19.7 per contest. She has also distributed a squad-best 43 assists. Tamika Dukes is the Blazers' top rebounder, pulling down an average of 6.8.
The Blazers shoot the ball at a 38.2 percent clip from the field, but are formidable beyond the arc, hitting 34 percent of their shots. UAB owns a negative rebounding margin at -1.7 but is outdueling conference foes by 1.9 per contest.
THE SERIES: UAB
ECU and UAB will meet for the 18th time in a series that dates back to 1979. The Lady Pirates own an 11-6 record against the Blazers and have won the last five contests, including a 78-74 win in overtime in Greenville earlier this season. East Carolina has also split the last four tilts in Birmingham.
AT THEIR PLACE
The Lady Pirates are credited with a 275-329 (.455) 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 47-75 (.385) 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 21 tries.
KEEP THEM OFF THE GLASS
In 13 conference games this season, the Lady Pirates have given up 204 offensive rebounds, an average of 15.7 per contest. That mark has led to 180 second chance points for opponents.
VALUE EVERY POSSESSION
ECU has reached the 20-turnover mark 18 times this season, including 31 against Tulane. That has led to a turnover margin of -3.0. Additionally, teams have scored 483 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' 664 field goals, Clarke has made or assisted on 251 of them, a percentage of .378. Allison Spivey has the second-best mark on the squad at .268 (178-of-664).
YOU'LL GET TO PLAY
It seems like the Lady Pirate bench gets deeper with each passing season and is an extension of the starting five. There is some truth to that statement, as East Carolina's bench has outscored its opponents' benches in 45 of the last 57 games and all but four this season.
SOME REALLY CLOSE CALLS
The Lady Pirates have lost six conference contests, but five of them have been by 10 points or less. Excluding the 14-point loss at SMU, East Carolina has dropped a three-point decision at Rice, four-point defeats at Southern Miss and against Tulsa, a five-point tilt to Tulane and a 10-point loss at UCF. ECU's margin of defeat in conference play currently stands at 6.7 points per game. The Lady Pirates have three games left against teams they have already beaten, but all three are on the road, where they are just 1-4 in league play thus far.
UP NEXT FOR THE LADY PIRATES
After facing UAB and Memphis, the Lady Pirates close out the regular season with a tilt at Marshall March 3. The contest in Huntington, W.Va. serves as a chance for ECU to something it has never done before - win at the Cam Henderson Center. Last season in Huntington, the Lady Pirates dropped a tight 85-83 decision in which they overcame multiple double-digit deficits only to fall just short. Allison Spivey put in a solid effort in the game, nailing four triples as part of a then career-high effort of 18 points. Additionally, LaCoya Terry and Jasmine Young both reached the 20-point mark with 22 and 20, respectively. Jean Best recorded three blocks in the contest but the Herd won the game with its 50.8 percent shooting from the field.