March 7, 2011
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East Carolina Women's Basketball Gameday Central
2011 Buick Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship Bracket
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Location: Memorial Gymnasium (5,200) El Paso, Texas
Series History: Tulsa leads, 4-3
Last Time Against Tulsa: W, 65-55 (2/24/11 at Greenville, N.C.)
||(5) East Carolina
|Field Goal Pct.
Three-Point FG Pct.
|Free Throw Pct.
EL PASO, Texas - East Carolina, the five seed, opens play Wednesday at the 2011 Buick Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship against No. 12 seed Tulsa at 7 p.m. ET. The Pirates turned in a 9-7 league mark for the second-straight season while also taking the five seed for the second consecutive campaign.
As the fifth seed last year, ECU advanced to the semifinals with wins over No. 12 Southern Miss (102-64) and No. 4 Memphis (73-66) before falling to top seed and eventual champion Tulane, 73-64. The Pirates hold an all-time record of 7-7 in Conference USA Tournament play.
Today's contest marks the eighth in a series that began in 2006. The Golden Hurricane lead 4-3 and have won two of the last three meetings. ECU is 0-1 all-time against Tulsa at neutral sites.
The Pirates are 15-14 overall entering the contest. ECU is one of the hottest teams in the league, having won eight of its last 11 contests including triumphs over No. 2 seed UCF and No. 3 seed Rice in Greenville. The Pirates built a 16-0 lead in the regular season finale at UAB last Thursday, but had to hold on for a 56-55 win. Junior Jean Best led the offense with 15 points while classmate Crystal Wilson hit the game-winning free throw with 26 seconds remaining. East Carolina is averaging 70.2 points per game while giving up 68.9. In league games, the Pirates ranked in the top three in both field goal percentage (Third/.422) and field goal percentage defense (Second/.372). Free throw shooting has also been a bright spot in conference contests as ECU sits second with a percentage of .715.
Tulsa is 5-19 overall after losing its regular season finale in overtime against UTEP. The Golden Hurricane has lost 12 in a row since defeating Southern Miss on the road for its lone C-USA victory. Sophomore Taleya Mayberry is the only Tulsa player averaging double figures with 14.8 points per game while Loren McDaniel is the top rebounder at 6.2 per contest. The Golden Hurricane averages 61.8 points but gives up 70.6. Tulsa is also getting out-rebounded by almost two boards a game (41.6-39.8). In terms of shooting, the Golden Hurricane is 35.4 percent from the field, 27.9 percent beyond the arc and 66 percent from the free throw line.
THE LAST MEETING (FEBRUARY 24, 2011)...
The East Carolina women's basketball program earned its 600th win Thursday, downing Tulsa 65-55 at Minges Coliseum. Senior Allison Spivey drained a season-high five three-point field goals in the affair to push her program career-leading total to 196. In the process, she moved into 11th place on the C-USA career ledger. Kim Gay and Chareya Smith also netted double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively on a combined 11-for-16 performance from the field. On the glass, Spivey pulled down a team-best seven boards to go along with three steals. ECU knocked down 13 of 25 shots in the second half (52 percent) to end up 46 percent for the contest.
AS THE NO. 5 SEED...
The Pirates earned the No. 5 seed for the first time last season, going 2-1 at the tournament in Tulsa. UCF was the same seed in 2009 in New Orleans, becoming the second team in league history to win the championship after playing four games in four days. The Knights were 2-11 before conference play that year.
CONFERENCE USA CONGRATULATIONS...
Senior Kim Gay became the latest Pirate to earn all-conference honors when she was named to the third team Sunday. It marks the ninth-straight year in which ECU has had a selection. Gay was also voted to the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second-straight season.
CONFERENCE USA: THE 10TH SEASON...
East Carolina is in its 10th year as a basketball member of C-USA. Starting in 2001, the Pirates became eligible to compete for the league title after contributing 17 years as a constituent of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Four years ago, ECU finished third in the regular season standings, its highest ranking since joining the conference. The Pirates also notched their first league tournament title with 79-70 triumph over Rice in the 2007 championship game at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
ALL ABOUT THE "D" LATELY...
The Pirates have won three-straight games entering the tournament and have done so due to some pretty stingy defense. In those contests, ECU has given up an average of 51.3 points per game - well under its season average of 68.9.
SUCCESS CLOSER TO HOME...
Since Conference USA split into East and West divisions before the 2005-06 campaign, ECU has fared much better against its eastern neighbors. In five seasons, the Pirates have recorded a 48-30 (.615) mark against the eastern members while producing a 19-32 (.373) ledger vs. the western side.
SIGNED AND SEALED...
The Pirates have signed two top 65 position recruits in Courtney Melvin and Ja'Nesha Ebron as well as the No. 102 ranked forward from Columbus, Ohio, Tatiana Chapple. Melvin was ranked the No. 31 post player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz while Ebron was tabbed No. 61 among guards by the same website. Both signees have North Carolina state championship game experience, as Melvin has led East Bladen High School to the last two title games (1A and 2A) and Ebron helped South Central to a 3A championship appearance. Current assistant coach Ann Hancock held the scoring record at East Bladen with 2,276 but Melvin broke it in the first half of a recent win - scoring the needed layup at the halftime buzzer.
The Pirates can certainly call themselves a "second half" team this year. ECU has scored 1,078 points in the second stanza and 955 in the first. However, in the season finale at UAB, East Carolina scored 39 in the first half and just 17 in the second period.
TAKE THE LEAD AND RUN...
In 13 of their 14 losses, the Pirates have trailed at the half. Conversely, they have won 13 games when leading at the break and one when the score was tied. ECU finally broke through and emerged victorious when trailing at the half against Marshall.
ALL IT TAKES IS 30...
East Carolina converted 32 field goals against SMU, marking the 28th time since the start of the 2006-07 campaign that the Pirates have accomplished the feat.
PAY ATTENTION DOWN THERE AT THE END...
It seems like the 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 73 of the last 93 games and 22 of 29 this year.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THAT WITH THE WHOLE TEAM?...
The Pirates recorded 28 assists on 36 made field goals against Massachusetts. It was just seven shy of the school record and the most since ECU tallied the same number against Houston-Baptist last season. Additionally, the Pirates turned the ball over just nine times for a stellar assist/turnover ratio of 3.1. The Pirates are averaging a league second-best 15.9 assists per game in conference play and have recorded at least 20 helpers five times during that stretch.
I'LL TAKE THREE, THANKS...
In hitting 12 three-point field goals against Virginia Union, the Pirates established a new program single-game record. However, just six days later, ECU did one better with 13 vs. Massachusetts then did it again against Florida A&M in Iowa and at home against Southern Miss. With four triples at Marshall senior Allison Spivey took over sole possession of first-place on the program ledger.
THE GOOD KIND OF OFFENSIVE...
ECU owns the top two offensive outputs among C-USA teams this season with 102 points against Virginia Union and 97 vs. Massachusetts. The 61-point margin of victory against the Panthers was the third-largest in program history and 12th-widest in the league annals. The Pirates also boast one of the two highest single-game assist totals - 28 against the Minutewomen. Additionally, the 91 points scored against Southern Miss were the most by a C-USA team in a conference game this season.
PIRATES ROLL DEEP...
In 26 of the last 29 games, at least one player off the bench has scored in double figures. In fact, in the contests against UNC Wilmington, Virginia Union, Prarie View A&M, Memphis and Rice, two players that did not start netted at least 10 points.
ECU BENEFITS FROM JEAN'S BEST...
Jean Best has scored in double figures eight times this season. In those games, the Pirates hold a 5-3 record with two of the losses against then No. 8 UCLA and at defending C-USA champion Tulane.
A NEW LOW...
Marshall's 43 points are the least ECU has ever allowed in a Conference USA road contest. The previous mark was 52 by Southern Miss when the Pirates went down to Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg and won a 68-52 decision on Feb. 22, 2007.
FREE THROWS DO INDEED WIN BALLGAMES...
In 14 of the last 20 games, ECU has hit over 70 percent of its free throw attempts. The Pirates put up a season and C-USA-best 94-percent performance at Tulane, knocking down 16 of 17 from the charity stripe. In C-USA games, East Carolina is second in the league with a 72-percent mark, with Houston in the lead at 73 percent.
LIVING IN THE SIXTIES...
Before scoring just 52 points in the loss at UCF, the Pirates had reached the 60-point plateau in 25-straight contests. The last time East Carolina did not reach 60 points prior to the game in Orlando was an 87-52 loss at Maryland in the second round of the 2010 WNIT. In comparison, the 2009-10 squad failed to score at least 60 in a contest nine times.
WIRE TO WIRE...
In four of the Pirates' wins this season, they have led the entire game. Virginia Union, Massachusetts, Prairie View and UAB did not manage to grab a lead against ECU while the Blazers did not enjoy an advantage at any point of the two games between the teams.
ON THEIR WAY TO SEE THE PIRATES PLAY...
East Carolina led Conference USA in attendance for the third-straight season, drawing an average of 1,872 fans to Minges Coliseum. In the latest release of the national attendance figures, the Pirates check in at 79th, ahead of such teams as Colorado, Florida, California, Illinois, Missouri and Syracuse.
BIG CROWDS LEAD TO MINGES SUCCESS...
Since the start of the 2008-09 season, no one has been better than East Carolina at home in conference play. The Pirates have racked up a 20-4 ledger.
21ST TO 1,000...
Senior Allison Spivey became the 21st player in program history to score 1,000 career points when she netted nine at Houston. She is 26 behind Gale Kerbaugh for 19th.
UP NEXT FOR THE PIRATES...
If East Carolina can upend No. 12 seed Tulsa in the first round, it will advance to face fourth-seeded Tulane in Thursday's quarterfinals. The Pirates fell to the Green Wave on Jan. 13 in New Orleans by a 71-61 score.