Nov. 9, 2013
East Carolina plays host to George Mason on Sunday, November 10. The Pirates and the Patriots will tip-off at 6 p.m. The contest is also Fan Appreciation Day as all fans who bring their ticket stub from the ECU football game on Saturday, November 9, against Tulsa will receive $2.00 admission. Additionally, the first 250 fans in attendance will receive a free ECU Pirates T-shirt.
The Pirates and the Patriots will go head-to-head for the 47th time in program history. East Carolina holds the edge in the all-time series 25-21. Last season ECU and George Mason met on January 2, 2013 in Norfolk, Va., and the Pirates defeated the Patriots 71-53. In that contest four Pirates scored in double figures as Whitny Edwards (17), Kristine Mial (15), Kyani White (10), and Celeste Stewart (10) led the ECU offense.
Last Time Out
East Carolina kicked off the 2013-14 campaign with a 102-47 victory over Virginia Intermont on Friday afternoon behind a pair of 20-point performances by Abria Trice and J'Kyra Brown. The Pirates grabbed 28 steals in the contest to rank fourth in the single-game record book. The win also marked the first time since November 2011 that ECU reached the 100-point plateau. Trice led four Pirates who score in double-figures with 21 points. The redshirt junior guard also added four steals, three rebounds, two assists, and one block. Brown, a freshman guard, contributed 20 points to go along with four boards, one block and one steal in her collegiate debut, while junior forward Shae Nelson posted 16 points, a team-best seven rebounds, two steals and one assist. Redshirt sophomore Jada Payne rounded out the double-figure scoring with 15 points while also registering five rebounds, three steals, and an assists. East Carolina shot 46.3-percent and forced the Cobras into 41 turnovers as the Pirates scored 48 points off of turnovers en route to the win.
About the Pirates
ECU started off the 2013-14 season with a 102-47 victory over Virginia Intermont to begin the year 1-0. Last season's redshirts, Abria Trice and Jada Payne stepped up as both scored in double-figures against the Cobras. Trice's 21 points currently leads the squad, while Payne's 15 points is good for fourth Additionally, ECU got an offensive boost from newcomers J'Kyra Brown and Shae Nelson as they notched 20 and 16 points, respectively. Nelson leads ECU with seven rebounds, while junior Janesha Ebron is the team leader in assists with six. Ebron also set the standards for the team with five steals, while junior post Ondrea Shaw put up a team-best four blocks. In addition to their offensive surge of 102 points on 46.3-percent shooting, the ECU defense stepped up and collected 28 steals and six blocks.
Scouting the Patriots
George Mason opens the 2013-14 season at East Carolina. The Patriots won a pair of exhibition games this season against Bowie State (98-60) and Hood College (78-35). George Mason looks to improve on last season as it finished the year with a 9-21 overall record and was 4-14 in the Colonial Athletic Association. This year, the Patriots have moved to the Atlantic 10 and with nine returners and six newcomers, the Patriots look to be a more competitive team. Redshirt senior forward Janaa Pickard is the Patriots returning leading scorer as she concluded last season averaging 8.9 points per game to go along with 5.6 rebounds per game and 35 blocks. Kyana Jacobs, a senior guard, recorded 29 steals, 39 assists, 4.0 points per game with 2.4 boards per game. As a team, George Mason averaged 54.5 points per game, while allowing 61.4. The Patriots held the edge in rebounds, 38.6 rebounds per game to 35.5.
Head Coach Heather Macy
Head Coach Heather Macy (Greensboro College, 2000) enters her fourth year at the helm of the ECU women's basketball program and holds a record of 51-44 as the Pirates' leader. Overall, Macy owns a 166-83 career record and is 100-47 in conference action. Macy is coming off of a year in which she was named Conference USA Coach of the Year after guiding the Pirates to a 22-10 overall record and an 11-5 C-USA mark. 2012-13 marked the first time in three years ECU tallied a 20-win season and the Pirates' 11 league victories were the most since joining C-USA in 2001-02. Macy was instrumental in helping her squad earn a No. 2 seed in the C-USA Tournament, their highest ever ranking in the league tournament. Since her hiring at ECU in 2010, Macy has led the Pirates to their fourth winning season in the last five years. Macy came to East Carolina 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 Sweet 16. 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.
Welcome To Pirate Nation
The Pirates welcome six newcomers to Greenville in freshman J'Kyra Brown, junior Akia Jones, junior Shae Nelson, junior Ondrea Shaw, freshman Jenka Stiasna, and redshirt senior Carly Vendemia. Brown is a guard out of Rocky Mount High School were she was the Gryphons' all-time leading scorer with 1,655 points en route to being named the North Carolina Player of the Year. Jones comes to ECU from Walters State Community College where she totaled 287 points to average 9.9 points per game to go along with 114 rebounds (3.9 rpg). Last season, Nelson saw action at Northwest Florida State College and was ranked as the No. 25 junior college player in the country by Dan Olson Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Shaw was a redshirt at George Mason last season and previous played at Coffeyville Community College (Kan.) where she set the team record and led the nation in blocked shots with 157. Stiasna is a freshman from Slovakia who has been in the U.S. for three years after having played high school basketball at Rock High School in Gainesville, Fla. At Rock HS, Stiasna averaged 9.2 points per contest and was ranked No. 72 in the state of Florida by Max Preps. Vendemia comes to ECU after graduating from Duquesne in the spring. After redshirting last season, Vendemia is ready to hit the hardwood after seeing action in all 32 games with six starts in 2011-12 in which she scored a career-high 16 points versus Dayton.
The National Spotlight
East Carolina earned national recognition a year ago as the Pirates ranked in the NCAA Top 50 in five different statistical categories. ECU grabbed a whopping 12.1 steals per game to rank eighth in the nation and first in Conference USA. Last season, the Pirates owned a turnover margin of +4.94 to earn a national ranking of 20th as well as a first-place spot in the conference. Additionally, East Carolina placed 43rd nationally in assists per game (15.3) and three-point field goal defense (27.6), while its 0.96 assists to turnover ratio was good for 48th.
Home Sweet Home
Last season, ECU closed out the year with an impressive 14-1 record when playing at Minges Coliseum. After starting 2013-14 with a 1-0 record, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 14 games. East Carolina has not lost a home match in almost one year as the last time the Pirates were defeated inside Minges Coliseum was on November 17, 2012 when they dropped a 72-62 decision to College of Charleston.
East Carolina picked up right where it left off last season as a defensively strong team. Last season ECU averaged 12.1 steals per game to rank eighth nationally. In their first game of the year, the Pirates grabbed 28 steals to rank fourth in the East Carolina Single-Game Record book. Additionally, ECU scored 48 points off of 41 Virginia Intermont turnovers.
Cleaning Up The Glass
Having played just one game this season, junior forward Shae Nelson and junior post Ondrea Shaw have already combined for 13 rebounds as Nelson led the squad with seven and Shaw added six in the Pirates' win over Virginia Intermont. As a team, ECU recorded 47 boards as the team grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and 24 defensive rebounds.
Pouring In The Points
In the first game of the season, the Pirates had four double-figure scorers including a pair of 20-point performances en route to a 102-47 win over Virginia Intermont. Redshirt junior forward Abria Trice led the offensive attack with 21 points, while freshman guard J'Kyra Brown drained 20 in her collegiate debut. Junior forward Shae Nelson added 16 points, while redshirt sophomore guard Jada Payne posted 15. The Pirates recorded their first 100-point win since November 13, 2011 when ECU rolled past St. Andrew's 109-30.
Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates were known for steals last season. East Carolina racked up 388 steals, the most ever in a single season in program history. The Pirates averaged 12.1 steals per game to rank eighth in the NCAA and ranked first in Conference USA. In just one game so far, ECU grabbed 28 steals against Virginia Intermont to rank fourth in the Single-Game Record Book.
Thanks For the Assistance
As a team, the Pirates dished out 22 assists in the first game of the season. Junior guard Janesha Ebron led the squad with a career-high six helpers in the contest. Sophomore point guard Chanel Green added four assists, while sophomore guard Colleen Marshall contributed three. With 22 assists and 19 turnovers in the game, the Pirates own a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio.
The Pirates held the edge in blocks in the first game of the year as they put up six, while limiting Virginia Intermont to just one. Junior post Ondrea Shaw led the team with four blocks in the contest. The Los Angeles, Calif., native previously set the Coffeyville Community College (Kan.) record and led the nation with 157 blocked shots to average 5.0 per game.
The Pirates have recorded 100 or more points on 22 occasions during the program's 44-year history. Most recently, East Carolina dropped 102 points on Virginia Intermont as the Pirates defeated the Cobras by 55 points (102-47). The first time ECU reached the 100-point mark came on December 5, 1978, when the Pirates trounced Wake Forest 102-48 in Greenville. The most points ever scored by an ECU women's basketball team occurred on February 13, 2004, when the Pirates poured in 119 points in a quadruple overtime loss to TCU, 125-119.
The "New" Conference USA
Conference USA was one of the many conferences that saw realignments over the summer. July 1, 2013 marked the addition of Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, LA Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, and UTSA to C-USA. While the conference expanded with the eight new member institutions, it also parted ways with Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF as all four joined the American Athletic Conference. 2013 will mark the last year of ECU's affiliation with Conference USA as the Pirates will join the American Athletic Conference beginning next season.
The Pirates continue their home stand as they welcome William & Mary to Minges Coliseum for a Friday, November 15th contest. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on ECUPirates.com.