East Carolina Heads to George Washington to Open WNIT Action

UABSPORTS.COM Akia Jones
UABSPORTS.COM
Akia Jones
UABSPORTS.COM

March 18, 2014

Game 31: East Carolina at George Washington
Date Wednesday, March 19
Time 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Location Washington, D.C.
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The Game
The East Carolina women's basketball team received an invitation to play in the WNIT to mark the first time in program history the Pirates have reached the postseason in back-to-back years. ECU will travel to Washington, D.C., to take on George Washington on Wednesday, March 19 at the Charles E. Smith Center. A tip-off time is set for 7 p.m.

The Series vs. George Washington
The Pirates and the Colonials will meet for the fourth time in program history and George Washington leads the all-time series 2-1. The last time the two teams met was in 2005, when the Colonials rolled over ECU, 67-34, in Washington, D.C. East Carolina's only win over George Washington came on November 20, 1983, when they defeated the Colonials, 64-57, in Greenville.

About the Pirates
East Carolina is looking to get back on the winning track after dropping five of its last six contests. The Pirates own an overall record of 22-8 to go along with a 10-6 Conference USA ledger. ECU has a scoring offense of 72.7 points per game and its defense limits opponents to 63.2 points per game. The Pirates are a defensively strong team that limits teams to 36.7-percent shooting from the field which ranks 28th in the NCAA. The Pirates' three-point field goal percent defense of 27.1 is good for 13th in the nation. The Pirates' average 5.3 blocked shots per game is good for 15th in the NCAA, while their steals per game average of 10.7 is 10th. ECU is led offensively by redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne who averages 18.4 points per game to rank sixth in Conference USA. She also leads the Pirates in rebounding with 7.3 boards per game. Payne has contributed 53 assists, 43 steals, and five blocks on the year. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is the team's second leading scorer with 15.5 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game, a team-best 49 steals, 38 assists and 16 blocks. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw leads East Carolina with a school record 99 blocks to average 3.3 per game which ranks eighth in the nation. Shaw also adds 6.8 rebounds per game, 3.0 points per game, 33 steals and 15 assists.

Scouting the Colonials
George Washington will make its first postseason appearance since 2009 as it plays host to East Carolina in the first round of the WNIT on Wednesday. The Colonials are 21-10 overall and finished in a tie for second place in the Atlantic 10 standings with an 11-5 league record. Led by second year head coach Jonathan Tsipis, the Colonials are shooting 42.4-percent from the field, 30.7-percent from three-point range and 67.5-percent from the free throw line. George Washington averages 76.4 points per game and holds its opponents to 68.9. The Colonials hold the edge in rebounding as they average 44.7 boards per game to their counterparts' 38.2. Additionally, GW averages 16.0 assists per game, 9.3 steals per game and 3.4 blocks per game, while forcing 18.3 turnovers per contest. The Colonials boast six A-10 postseason honors among four players, headlined by Rookie of the Year and All-Conference Third Team selection in Caira Washington, who is averaging 11.2 points per game to go along with 9.0 rebounds per contest. Sophomore forward Jonquel Jones leads the Colonials in both scoring (14.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.2 rebounds per game) and was named to the Second Team. Redshirt senior guard Danni Jackson joined Washington on the Third Team as she is averaging 12.9 points per game and her 185 assists on the year are the third-highest single-season total in program history. Additionally, Chakecia Miller was named to the A-10 All-Defensive Team. Miller adds 8.3 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per contest, 98 assists, 42 steals and three blocks.

Home Sweet Home
East Carolina finished the regular season with an impressive 14-1 record while playing at Williams Arena inside Minges Colisuem. In two seasons, East Carolina has compiled a 28-2 record in Greenville, N.C. for a winning percentage of 93.3-percent.

In the Nation
In the NCAA's weekly national statistical rankings East Carolina is ranked in the top 50 in seven categories. The Pirates are 10th in the nation in steals per game (10.7), 13th in three-point field goal percent defense (27.1), 15th in blocked shots per game (5.3), 28th in field-goal percent defense (36.7), 42nd in rebounding margin (+6.1) and 48th in both scoring margin (+9.5) and win-loss percentage (73.3).

20/20
East Carolina reached the 20-win plateau for the eighth time in program history after defeating UAB, 83-73, in overtime at Bartow Arena. The Pirates registered their first back-to-back 20-win seasons since the 1986 as the 1984-85 squad tallied a 20-9 record and the 1985-86 team registered a program-best 24 victories. This season, East Carolina registered its 20th victory on February 8th marking the earliest the Pirates have ever reached that feat in ECU women's basketball's 44-year history. Additionally, the Pirates were the first Conference USA squad to reach 20 victories this season.

Pouring In The Points
The Pirates have a three double-figure scorers in redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne, redshirt junior guard Abria Trice, and junior forward Shae Nelson. Payne leads the Pirates with 184 points per game, while Trice averages 15.5, and Nelson owns 10.5. Payne's and Trice's averages rank sixth and 10th, respectively, in the conference. As a team, ECU owns a scoring offense of 72.7 to rank fourth in the league, while the Pirates limit their opponents to 63.2 points per game for a scoring margin of +9.5 which ranks in the top 50 in the nation.

Getting Defensive
A defensively strong team, East Carolina has limited its opponents to 63.2 points per game, while averaging 72.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +9.5. The Pirates' scoring defense ranks second in the conference and their scoring margin is good for fourth. The marks are also ranked 48th (scoring margin) and 73rd (scoring defense) in the NCAA, respectively. Additionally, the Pirates have collected 322 steals to average 10.7 per game to place second in the league and 10th in the nation. ECU has also forced their counterparts into 588 turnovers to average 19.6 per game. The Pirates have put up 158 blocks to average 5.3 per game which leads the league and ranks 15th in the nation.

Thanks For the Assistance
The Pirates have dished out 417 assists this season to average 13.9 per game which ranks fourth in Conference USA. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the team-leader with 150 helpers on the year to average 5.0 per game which ranks her fifth in the conference. She also leads C-USA with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.2.

Cleaning Up The Glass
The Pirates have accumulated 1,293 rebounds to average 43.1 per game which ranks second in Conference USA. In holding their opponents to 37.0 rebounds per game, the Pirates own a rebounding margin of +6.1 which leads C-USA and is good for 42nd in the nation. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the team with 218 rebounds for an average of 7.3 boards per game.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates are known for steals. ECU has grabbed 322 steals this season to average 10.7 per game which ranks second in Conference USA and 10th in the NCAA. The Pirates have forced their opponents into 19.6 turnovers per game and own a turnover margin of +1.2. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice leads the Pirates with 49 steals to average 1.7 per game to tie for 12th in the league.

Block Party
ECU has put up 158 blocks to average 5.3 per game which leads Conference USA statistics and is good for 15th in the nation. The Pirates have limited their opponents to 3.4 blocks per game on the year. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with 99 blocks for an average of 3.3 blocks per game which leads the conference and ranks her eighth in the NCAA. With 99 blocks, Shaw set a new ECU single-season record, breaking the previous standard that was set during the 1978 season.

Looking Ahead
If East Carolina advances to the second round of the WNIT, the Pirates will play the winner of the Villanova-Quinnipiac game. Round two of the tournament will be held between Saturday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 25.