Nov. 10, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team will host St. Andrew's University in a non-conference contest in the Pirates' home opener. The game will take place Sunday, November 11, at 5 p.m. in Minges Coliseum.
Pirates Host St. Andrew's in Home Opener
East Carolina will play host to St. Andrew's University in the Pirates' season opener on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m. in Minges Coliseum. The Pirates will enter the contest with a 1-0 record after defeating William & Mary, 68-62, in the season opener on Friday, Nov. 9, in Williamsburg, Va. The Knights are 1-1 on the season after dropping an 80-58 contest to Voorhees College in the Knights' season opener before downing Morris College 79-60 on Nov. 6.
The Pirates and Knights will meet for just the second time in program history after playing each other for the first time ever last season. East Carolina rolled past St. Andrew's in the non-conference game, 109-30, on Nov. 13, 2011 to lead the all-time series 1-0. The 109 points scored by ECU was good for third in the East Carolina record book. In that game, Britny Edwards and Tatiana Chapple registered a pair of double-doubles, as Edwards tallied a team-leading 22 points and added 10 rebounds, while Chapple contributed 11 points and as many boards for the Pirates. Edwards' 22 points marked a season-high for the power forward/center.
Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 68-62 victory over William & Mary Friday night at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va. The meeting was the first between the two squads since 2001 when the Pirates edged the Tribe, 59-56. On Friday, a trio of Pirates scored in double-figures in Whitny Edwards (16), Britny Edwards (12) and Kyani White (12). In addition to Whitny Edwards' 16 points, the redshirt senior recorded nine rebounds, three steals and two assists. White added a team-high seven steals and finished the game with four assists to go along with three boards. Britny Edwards amassed six rebounds, a team-high five blocks and an assist. Freshman Colleen Marshall came off the bench in the second half and tallied nine points with four rebounds, three assists and a block to lead the Pirates. Senior Celeste Stewart concluded the contest with six points, a half-dozen assists, four rebounds and as many steals. As a team, the Pirates tallied 19 steals and 17 assists in the six-point victory.
Scouting The Knights
St. Andrew's enters Minges Coliseum with a 1-1 record after having lost to Voorhees College in the Knights' season opener by a score of 80-58, and following that up with a 79-60 victory over Morris College. The Knights are led offensively by senior forward Kimayah Fulcher as well as junior forwards Jazmyne Harvey and Ja'Quaia Caracter. Fulcher has tallied a team-best 30 points on the year and owns 13 rebounds, which also leads the squad. She has seen action in 46 minutes and has added five blocks while shooting 63.2-percent from the floor. Harvey has recorded 24 points for the Knights with five boards in 40 minutes, while Caracter has posted 20 points in two contests with 12 rebounds and one steal. Delisa Mercedes Smith leads the squad with seven assists and has added 10 points and six boards in 38 minutes of action. As a team, the Knights are shooting 43.8-percent from the floor, 18.8-percent from beyond the arc, and 54.9-percent from the charity stripe.
East Carolina: Head Coach Heather Macy (Greensboro College, 2000) enters her third year at the helm of the ECU women's basketball team and holds a record of 29-34 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 144-73 overall record and is 89-42 in conference action. In her first year with the Pirates, Macy guided the team to a winning record for the third straight season and helped the Pirates to a 9-7 conference mark which was good for fifth place in the league. Macy came to ECU 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 second round. 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.
St. Andrew's: Jessica Vanco (St. Bonaventure, 1999) is in her fifth season as the head coach of the St. Andrew's women's basketball program. Vanco came to St. Andrew's after spending 10 years at the helm of Presbyterian College where she coached the Blue Hose to a 21-win season in 2005-06 at which point the squad earned the distinction of being the most improved women's basketball program in Division II. She was an instrumental part in Presbyterian's transition from Division II to Division I and led the Blue Hose to its first Division I victory. Prior to becoming the head coach at Presbyterian, Vanco spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Furman University and one season at both the United States Military Academy and Salem International University.
ECU WBB History
Overall, East Carolina women's basketball owns a 615-532 all-time record dating back to the 1969-70 season in which the Pirates were led by then-head coach Catherine Bolton. Since the program's inception, ECU has made a pair of NCAA tournament appearances (1982 and 2007), seen action in the WNIT (2010) and won three conference tournament titles (1984 with the Colonial Athletic Association, 1985 with the CAA, and 2007 with Conference USA). Prior to women's sports being sponsored by the NCAA, East Carolina made one National AIAW Tournament appearance in 1973.
East Carolina is returning 11 players to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum from last season. The 11 returners include four seniors in Celeste Stewart, Britny Edwards, Whitny Edwards and Shala Hodges. The Pirates welcome back three juniors in Kristine Mial, Katie Paschal, and Ariana Jackson, as well as four sophomores in Kyani White, Dana Jones, Tatiana Chapple, and Janesha Ebron. Stewart returns to the court as the only Pirate who started in all 31 games last season. She finished the year with a team-leading 106 assists. Britny Edwards was last year's leading rebounder with 218, and averaged 7.0 rebounds per game, while leading the team with 45 blocks on the year. Hodges led the Pirates in three-point field goal percentage with 34.8-percent. In addition, she added 240 points to average 10.4 points per game which was good for second on the squad. Mial will don purple and gold again after a sophomore campaign in which she led the Pirates with 56 steals and finished with 271 points, which ranked her second on the team.
Getting to Know the Newcomers
The Pirates welcome six newcomers to the court this season in two freshman and four transfers. Colleen Marshall and Chanel Green are the incoming freshman, while Elise Shelton, Shawnda Robinson, Abria Trice and Jada Payne round out the transfers. Marshall comes to ECU from Gaithersburg High School in Maryland, where she led her squad to back-to-back Class AAAA state championships and 52 consecutive victories to close out her prep career. Marshall joins Green who graduated from Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C., and helped Woodson to four consecutive D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association titles and a pair of Washington, D.C. city championships. Shelton made the cross-country trek from Phoenix, Ariz., where she averaged a double-double with 14.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Phoenix College. She also led the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) in rebounding and blocked shots, was fifth in field goal percentage and eighth in scoring. Trice will redshirt this season after transferring from UNC Wilmington where she started in 32 of the team's 33 games. She finished second on the team in scoring (10.6) and blocks (17) and was third on the squad in steals (51). Payne will also redshirt as she transferred to ECU from La Salle where she was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in her freshman campaign. Payne appeared in all 31 games, starting in 26, and was the team's high-scorer in five contests while leading the squad in rebounding on two occasions.
The Coaching Staff
The half-dozen newcomers are not the only new faces that will be seen on the court this season. Coach Macy welcomed a new coaching staff over the summer in Jill Poe, Rachel Stockdale, and Ollin Dunford, along with Director of Operations Eric McCabe and Video Coordinator Nicole Mealing. Coach Poe brings a wealth of experience to the ECU staff as well as some familiarity as she was on staff during the 2010-11 season. Poe owns 18 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, with an emphasis on developing post players. In addition, Coach Poe also brings four years of head coaching experience after leading the Saint Francis (Pa.) squad from 2003-07. Coach Stockdale comes to ECU after working as an assistant coach at Wake Forest and helping the Demon Deacons to a 20-win season for just the second time ever. In addition, her squad made a trip to the postseason for only the fifth time in school history. Coach Dunford joins the staff after a stint at UNC Wilmington where he helped guide the Seahawks to their second-consecutive 20-win season for the first time in program history and a berth in the WNIT. Before moving to Greenville, McCabe worked at Bucknell University for six years where he served as the athletic ticket manager and campus box office assistant, as well as marketing and promotions assistant. In addition, he worked under Coach Poe at Saint Francis (Pa.) as a student assistant for the women's basketball team. Mealing, a former student-athlete under Coach Macy at Francis Marion University, comes to ECU after serving as an assistant coach at North Augusta High School in South Carolina where she also worked in the special education department.
Closing in on the Top 10
A trio of Pirates are close to breaking into the East Carolina career record book. Senior Shala Hodges is 17 three-pointers away from jumping into 10th place in the ECU annals, while redshirt senior Britny Edwards is 13 blocks away from etching her name onto the East Carolina career blocks list, and senior Celeste Stewart needs 41 assists to crack into the Top 10 in ECU assists.
Off the Bench
The East Carolina women's basketball team utilizes its bench as much as anyone, if not more. Last season, the Pirates' bench out-scored their opponents in 19 of 31 games. ECU's bench tallied 656 points to their opponents' 429. In the Pirates' season opener, their non-starters tallied 17 points off the bench in ECU's 68-62 win over William & Mary. Freshman Colleen Marshall headlined the non-starters with nine points, while redshirt junior Ariana Jackson tallied four.
Reshirt senior Whitny Edwards led the Pirates' offense in the season opener at William & Mary as the 5-foot-11 forward poured in a team-high 16 points in the victory. She was joined in double figures by her twin sister Britny Edwards who finished the contest with 12 points and redshirt sophomore Kyani White who also tallied 12 points.
Cleaning up the Glass
Redshirt senior Britny Edwards was the Pirates' leading rebounder last season as the 6-foot-1 power forward and center notched 218 boards to average 7.0 rebounds per game. However, in East Carolina's season opener at William & Mary, it was Whitny Edwards who led the squad with nine boards. Britny Edwards finished the contest with six rebounds, while sophomore Tatiana Chapple also contributed a half-dozen boards.
Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart picked up right where she left off last season - leading the team in assists. On Friday, the 5-foot-8 guard dished out a game-high six assists to help guide the Pirates over William & Mary in the season opener.
Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Redshirt sophomore Kyani White turned in an excellent performance on Friday at William & Mary as she grabbed a game-high seven steals. In addition, White posted 12 points, four assists and three rebounds in the contest.
Good Things Happen in Threes
As a team, East Carolina hit 10-of-21 three-point field goals in the season opener and shot 47.6-percent from beyond the arc. The Pirates were led by Whitny Edwards who tallied four treys and Colleen Marshall who notched three.
Redshirt senior Britny Edwards recorded a game-high five blocks in the Pirates' season opener at William & Mary. Her five blocks tied her career-high when she tallied five blocks versus Jacksonville on December 18, 2011. Last season, Britny Edwards finished the year with a team-leading 45 blocks.
The Pirates will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 17, when they host College of Charleston at 2 p.m. at Minges Coliseum. The contest marks just the second meeting between the two teams and East Carolina leads the all-time series 1-0 after defeating the Cougars, 58-43, last season in Charleston, S.C.