Women's Hoops Plays Host to William & Mary

UABSPORTS.COM Ariana Jackson
Ariana Jackson

Nov. 14, 2013

Game 3: William & Mary at East Carolina
Date Friday, Nov. 15
Time 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
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The Game
East Carolina plays host to William & Mary on Friday, November 15. The Pirates and the Tribe will tip-off at 7 p.m. The contest is also Greek Night as all ECU Greek Organizations will be included in halftime activities and promotions throughout the games.

The Series
The Pirates and the Tribe will meet for the 44th time in program history. East Carolina leads the all-time series against William & Mary, 32-11. Last season, ECU and William & Mary opened the season on November 9, 2012 in Williamsburg, Va., and the Pirates defeated the Tribe, 68-62. In that contest, ECU was led by former Pirates Whitny and Britny Edwards as well as current guard Kyani White. The trio combined for 40 points as Whitny Edwards led the way with a team-best 16 points and Britny Edwards and White added 12 each. William and Mary is looking for its first win over East Carolina since February 5, 1999, when the Tribe defeated the Pirates, 71-59, in Greenville.

Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 75-66 victory over George Mason last Sunday at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates were led by redshirt junior guard Abria Trice's 21-point performance, her second in as many games. Trice also added a career-high seven rebounds, four steals, and three blocks in the contest. Redshirt senior forward Carly Vendemia posted 11 points, seven boards, one assist, one block, and one steal, while redshirt junior guard Kyani White contributed nine points, four steals, four rebounds, and three assists. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw collected a career-high seven boards to go along with two points and one block. The Pirates shot 33.8-percent in the game, while the ECU defense limited George Mason to 28.8-percent shooting. The Pirates out-rebounded the Patriots, 52-46, and held the edge in assists (11-6) as well as steals (17-10). ECU tallied 28 points off of turnovers and the Pirate bench contributed to 40 points in the victory.

About the Pirates
ECU is off to a 2-0 start this season as the Pirates have defeated Virginia Intermont (102-47) and George Mason (75-66) last weekend. In two games so far, East Carolina is shooting 40.5-percent from the field and averaging 88.5 points per game. The Pirate defense has been on point as they have limited opponents to 29.6-percent shooting and 56.5 points per game for a scoring margin of +32.0. The Pirates have also forced their counterparts into 67 turnovers, while collecting 33 assists to post an assist to turnover ratio of 0.8. East Carolina owns a turnover margin of +12.5. ECU has grabbed 45 steals on the year to average 22.5 steals per game. Redshirt junior Abria Trice has turned in a pair of 21-point performances in two games thus far as she averages 21.0 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game to go along with a team-leading eight steals, four blocks and three assists. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is the Pirates' leader in rebounds as she has totaled 13 in two games. She also adds a team-best five blocks, five points and three steals. Junior guard Janesha Ebron currently leads the Pirates with eight assists. She posted a career-high six helpers against Virginia Intermont and added a pair versus George Mason.

Scouting the Tribe
William and Mary opened the 2013-14 season with a 59-52 loss at Longwood on Monday. The Tribe shot 28.8-percent in the game and recorded 39 rebounds, 10 steals and 10 assists. William & Mary allowed 59 points in the game and surrendered 48 boards, 11 assists, five steals and one block. Longwood shot 37.9-percent in the contest. The Tribe was led offensively by freshman guard Marlena Tremba and senior forward Kaitlyn Mathieu who poured in 20 and 18 points, respectively. Mathieu also added a team-best eight rebounds, while Tremba contributed six. Junior forward Jazmen Boone dished out five assists, while junior guard Kyla Kerstetter grabbed four steals.

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 52-44 as the Pirates' leader. Overall, Macy owns a 167-83 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.

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 2-0 record, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 15 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.

Getting Defensive
East Carolina picked up right where it left off last season as a defensively strong team. A year ago, 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. Having played two games thus far, the Pirates have collected 45 steals to average 22.5 per game, while owning a turnover margin of +12.5.

Cleaning Up The Glass
In two games, ECU has three Pirates in double-figure rebounds. Leading the way is redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw who has 13 for an average of 6.5 per game. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne has collected 11 (5.5 per game) and redshirt junior guard Arbia Trice has added 10 (5.0 per game). The trio have contributed to the Pirates' 99 total boards this year which averages 49.5 per game. East Carolina is currently out-rebounding its opponents 99-86 for a rebounding margin of +6.5.

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 followed the season opener with a pair of double-figure performances as Trice poured in another 21 points and redshirt senior forward Carly Vendemia added 11. Thus far, East Carolina has five Pirates averaging double-figures in Trice (21.0 ppg), Brown (12.5 ppg), Vendemia (11.0 ppg), Payne (10.5 ppg), and Nelson (10.0 ppg).

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 two games so far, ECU has grabbed 45 steals to average 22.5 per game. The Pirates started the season collecting 28 steals against Virginia Intermont to rank fourth in the ECU single-game record book. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice leads the Pirates in steals with eight for an average of 4.0 per game. Second on the team is junior guard Janesha Ebron who has amassed five steals.

Thanks For the Assistance
As a team, the Pirates dished out 22 assists in the first game of the season and have accumulated 33 on the year. Junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the squad with eight helpers after she dished out a career-best six in the first game of the season. With 33 assists and forcing 67 turnovers, the Pirates own a 0.8 assist to turnover ratio.

Block Party
The Pirates have put up 12 blocks in two games, while limiting their opponents to six. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with five blocks as she tallied four against Virginia Intermont last Friday. 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. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is second on the team with four blocks, while freshman guard J'Kyra Brown and redshirt senior forward Carly Vendemia have added two and one, respectively.

100-Point Games
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.

Coming Up...
The Pirates continue their home stand as they welcome Loyola (Maryland) to Minges Coliseum for a Sunday, November 17th contest. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on ECUPirates.com. Fans who bring their ticket stub from the ECU Football game on Saturday, November 16, will receive $2.00 admission into the women's basketball game.