Nov. 5, 2010
East Carolina Women's Basketball Gameday Central
| 2009-10 Season Statistics
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Led by first-year head coach Heather Macy, East Carolina kicks off the 2010-11 season with an exhibition contest against Mount Olive College Saturday at Minges Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and admission is free.
"I am looking forward to seeing how our team responds to a game atmosphere," Macy said. "I want to see us play 94 feet on defense and grab a rebound, or the ball out of the net, and go."
The Pirates enjoyed a highly successful season a year ago, winning a program single-season second-best 23 games and reaching the second round of the WNIT before falling to 2006 national champion Maryland. ECU also set new yearly standards in points (2,430), three-point field goals (187) and assists (542).
Macy is no stranger to up-tempo, high-scoring offense. For two of the past three seasons, her Francis Marion teams led the nation in points per game. She is no stranger to a pressing and suffocating style of defense, however, as the Patriots also led the country in steals. Macy's mindset should prove beneficial to an East Carolina team that is used to scoring in bunches, sharing the ball and getting after it on defense and the boards.
On the national scene, the Pirates ranked among the nation's elite in five statistical categories - three-point field goal percentage (12th), field goal percentage (14th), assists per game (19th), scoring offense (37th) and rebound margin (42nd). Individually, now junior Ashley Clarke was named to the All-C-USA Second and All-Defensive Teams while pacing ECU in scoring, assists and steals. She led the league in assists per game and ranked 24th nationally.
Also returning for the Pirates are seniors Kim Gay
and Allison Spivey
. Gay was selected as the 2009-10 ECU MVP as she was tops on the squad in rebounding, free throw percentage and third in scoring. The forward had a career day at Memphis Feb. 27, setting career highs in points (26), rebounds (12) and three-point field goals made (four). She scored in double figures 16 times while leading East Carolina in rebounding 13 times. Meanwhile, Spivey started all 34 contests and ended up first on the team in three-point field goals and three-point field goal percentage. She also set the ECU single-season record with 63 three-pointers and helped the Pirates rank 12th in the nation in three-point percentage.
East Carolina should get a boost with the comeback of junior guard Crystal Wilson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second half of the road contest at SMU Jan. 23. Before her setback, she was scoring 9.6 points per game while shooting 55 percent from the field, 43 percent from beyond the arc and 75 percent at the free throw line. Wilson had also grabbed 70 rebounds and 37 steals.
Other upperclassman returnees include senior guard Kelly Smith and junior forward Chareya Smith. The former racked up 56 three-point field goals, the fourth-most in a single season in program history, and was fifth on the team in scoring. Chareya Smith, named the squad's most improved player at the end of the season awards banquet, played in all 34 contests and made 12 starts. She matched Wilson's field goal percentage mark and scored in double figures 10 times. The junior was also instrumental in the road victory at Drexel in the first round of the WNIT, scoring a career-high 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor to go along with seven rebounds.
A strong sophomore class, which features four guards and a forward, will complement the upperclassman core as it received valuable game experience as last season wore on. Guard Celeste Stewart was awarded playing time in every game and made two starts. She was the top-scoring rookie for ECU with an average of 3.9 points per contest and was third on the squad with 52 assists against 38 turnovers. Additionally, guard Shala Hodges scored a career-best 17 points to lead the Pirates to a 102-64 win over Southern Miss in the first round of the C-USA Tournament as East Carolina broke the single-game tourney scoring record. Forward Ariana Jackson and guard Elaine Morgan will also provide valuable minutes as they combined to play 542 last season.
A pair of talented freshmen, Alana Beroth and Katie Paschal, join the ranks to round out the roster as both were participants in the 2010 North Carolina East-West All-Star Game. Paschal also ended her prep career as the second-leading scorer in North Carolina high school history, dropping in 3,160 points.
The Pirates won 23 games in 2009-10, marking the second-most wins in a single season in program history. Additionally, ECU produced its second-highest victory total in their nine seasons in Conference USA with nine league triumphs.
CONFERENCE USA CONGRATULATIONS
The Pirates had a player earn All-Conference USA accolades for the ninth-straight year in 2009-10. Sophomore Ashley Clarke was named to the Second Team and All-Defensive Team after leading the league in assists per game (5.3) and ranking fourth in steals (71).
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
ECU protected its home court last season, racking up a 12-2 record at Minges Coliseum for the second consecutive year. That mark matched the second-most single-season wins in school history and was the most since 2000-01. The Pirates are 24-4 at home the last two campaigns and have racked up a Conference USA ledger of 13-3. East Carolina also set a new record of consecutive wins to start a home season, taking its first 12, capped off by a 74-64 victory over UTEP.
ON THEIR WAY TO SEE THE PIRATES PLAY
It could be said that one reason for East Carolina's sparkling home record was the fan support given by the Greenville and surrounding communities. The Lady Pirates welcomed 27,092 fans to Minges Coliseum last season, an average of 1,935 per contest. That figure led Conference USA and was 76th nationally among Division I schools.
BOARDING THEM UP
The Pirates enjoyed a 4.7 rebounding margin over its opponents last season (39.6-34.9). This is nothing new for ECU, however, as it has now out-rebounded its foes seven-straight years.
Another program record was broken at the end of non-conference play last season, as the Pirates racked up a record of 11-2. They defeated Charlotte, Western Carolina, UNC Wilmington, American, Bethune-Cookman, Towson and VCU before eventually falling to Gardner-Webb on the road. ECU did pick up a vital 63-60 triumph at South Florida during the non-league stretch, besting the Bulls to win the South Florida Shootout. USF had picked up the 2009 WNIT title before embarking on its 2009-10 campaign.
FIRST TO 30...FIELD GOALS
East Carolina converted 30 field goals against Drexel in the first round of the 2010 WNIT, marking the 23rd time since the start of the 2006-07 campaign that the Pirates have accomplished the feat. The last four of five occurrences have been in overtime.
KEEP RACKING THEM UP
The 41 wins between the last two campaign are the third-most in a two-year span in program history - two behind the 1979-81 seasons.
ECU used balance to its advantage last season. The Pirates had five players averaging 7.6 or more points per game while every member of the 2009-10 roster played, scored and had a rebound in the 103-59 win over Houston-Baptist and 102-64 triumph over Southern Miss. There were also six players averaging around or above 20 minutes per game. In C-USA games, nearly three players put in double figures in scoring.
SOME REALLY CLOSE CALLS
The Pirates lost seven conference contests, but five of them were by 10 points or less. Excluding the 14-point loss at SMU, East Carolina dropped a three-point decision at Rice, four-point defeats at Southern Miss and against Tulsa, a five-point tilt to Tulane, an eight-point stumble at UAB and a 10-point loss at UCF. ECU's margin of defeat in conference play was 5.7 points per game.
YOU'LL GET TO PLAY
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 51 of the last 64 games and all but six last year.
50 PERCENT? NO PROBLEM!
The Pirates enjoyed another great shooting season in 2009-10, firing at a .457 clip. ECU shot 50 percent or above in 13 games, including two games reaching or passing the 60-percent plateau.
LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE IN JUST ONE YEAR
A couple of the Pirate players have moved into the top 10 in the single season ECU ledgers. Spivey is first in three-point field goals made with 63 while Kelly Smith is fifth with 56. Additionally, Gay is fifth in free-throw percentage at .795 and Clarke is sixth in assists with 180 and 10th in steals with 71. On the career charts, Best is first in field goal percentage at .559 and sixth in blocks with 73, Gay is first in free throw percentage (.762), Spivey is fourth in three-point field goals made (144) and Clarke is seventh in free throw percentage at .723.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THAT WITH THE WHOLE TEAM?
ECU recorded 542 (15.9 per game) assists to its opponents' 439 last year. Additionally, the squad was 19-5 when recording more helpers than its opponent.
The Pirates ended up running one of the most prolific offenses in the nation last season. In addition to ranking 19th in assists per game and 37th in scoring offense, East Carolina put up new single-season records in points scored (2,430), three-point field goals made (187) and assists (542). It was not all good news however, as the squad also set record marks in personal fouls and turnovers. With head coach Heather Macy's style of play, the offense has the potential to be even more effective as her teams have routinely led the nation in scoring offense and steals.
MAKING IT RUN
Clarke steadily improved during her sophomore campaign, having a greater ability to make the offense go. Of the Pirates' 868 field goals, Clarke made or assisted on 309 of them, a percentage of .356.
NOTING MOUNT OLIVE
- Mount Olive has finished over .500 in each of the last five years, including 20-win seasons in 2007-08 (21-11) and 2008-09 (23-7).
- The Trojans won their first-ever Conference Carolinas championship in 2008 and earned their first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship. No. 8 seed Mount Olive upset top-seeded and regional host Indiana (Pa.) 62-56 in the first round of the 2008 Atlantic Regional.
- Mount Olive was picked second in the 2010-11 Conference Carolinas Preseason Poll.
- Jasmine Whitby, a 2008-09 All-Conference Carolinas and All-Southeast Region first team selection, redshirted in 2009-10 due to a knee injury.
- Whitby is the only Mount Olive College women's basketball player to record a "30-20" game: 32 points and 20 rebounds January 20, 2009, vs. Erskine (S.C.).
- Brittany Miller was named to the 2009-10 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 3 (College Division) First Team. Miller, who ranked among the NCAA II national leaders in field goal percentage during the 2009-10 season, has a cumulative 3.971 grade point average majoring in English Communications.
- LaPorsha Davis recorded her first collegiate double-double last season with 12 points and 10 rebounds January 28, 2010, against St. Andrews. The 5-foot-4 guard reached double figures in rebounds twice last year and was third on the team with 5.2 boards per contest.
- Mount Olive will be without senior starting point guard Shequanta McGee, who broke her jaw in two places last month in a fluke accident at home. The Trojans expect to have her back early in the regular season.