Pirates Host College of Charleston, Converse in Weekend Contests

Janesha Ebron

Nov. 16, 2012

Game 3: College of Charleston at East Carolina
Date Saturday, Nov. 17
Time 2 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
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2012-13 Women's Basketball Statistics East Carolina | College of Charleston
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – After starting the season with a pair of victories last week, the East Carolina women’s basketball team will welcome College of Charleston and Converse College to Minges Coliseum for Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, contests, respectively. Tip-off for both games is 2 p.m.

Both weekend contests are part of ECU’s Fan Food Drive in which all fans who bring canned food items will receive free admission to the Pirates game.

The Pirates are coming off of a season-opening win at William & Mary, 68-62, a week ago and an 84-41 victory over St. Andrew’s last Sunday. In addition to kicking off the season with a 2-0 record, ECU is leading the conference in three categories. East Carolina is setting the standard in the league with an average of 8.0 blocked shots per game, 19.5 steals per game, along with a +13.0 turnover margin.

Whitny Edwards is the Pirates’ leading scorer as the redshirt senior forward is averaging 11.5 points per game. She also owns a team-high 12 rebounds, and has contributed six steals and three assists. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 11 steals in two games to go along with 16 points, nine boards and five assists.

ECU Welcomes Charleston and Converse to Minges Coliseum for Weekend Series
East Carolina will play host to both College of Charleston and Converse College this weekend at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates and the Cougars will go head-to-head on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m., and Converse will enter Minges for a Sunday, Nov. 18, match-up at 2 p.m. The Pirates enter the weekend with a 2-0 record after starting the season with a pair of wins at William & Mary (68-62) and versus St. Andrew’s (84-41). The Cougars are 1-1 on the season after opening the year with a 56-38 victory over Coastal Carolina on Nov. 9, followed by a 103-39 defeat at UConn on Nov. 11. The Valkyries open the season this weekend with contests at Mount Olive (11/17) and East Carolina (11/18). Last year, Converse finished the season with a 3-24 overall record and was 3-15 in conference action.

The Series vs. College of Charleston
The Pirates and Cougars will meet for just the second time in program history after playing each other for the first time ever last season. A year ago, College of Charleston came out on top, 58-43, at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. In the contest, Britny Edwards led ECU with a nine-point, 13-rebound game, while the Cougars were led by Mikaela Hopkins who tallied a team-leading 14 points and 17 rebounds.

The Series vs. Converse
The Pirates and Valkyries will go head-to-head for the first time in program history. The Pirates enter the series with a 2-0 overall record, while the Valkyries have not yet played a game this season. Converse finished the 2011-12 season with a 3-24 mark and a 3-15 conference ledger.

Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a pair of wins as they opened the year with a 68-62 victory at William & Mary on Friday, Nov. 9, and rolled past St. Andrew’s, 84-41, on Sunday, Nov. 11. Redshirt senior Whitny Edwards led the Pirates offensively as she tallied 23 points over the weekend to average 11.5 points per game. In addition, the 5-foot-11 forward added 12 rebounds, six steals and three assists. Junior Katie Paschal came off the bench in the contest against St. Andrew’s to record a team-high 11 points in the game. Redshirt senior Britny Edwards finished the weekend with 20 points, eight rebounds, a team-best six blocks and one steal, while redshirt sophomore Kyani White concluded the weekend with 16 points, a team-leading 11 steals, nine boards, and five assists. Freshman Colleen Marshall drained three treys in her collegiate debut to register nine points at William & Mary. She finished the weekend with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals,  and one block. Junior Elise Shelton made her presence known in the Pirates’ win over St. Andrew’s as the 6-foot-4 center grabbed 11 rebounds and dropped in nine points with three blocks.

Scouting The Cougars
College of Charleston enters Minges Coliseum with a 1-1 record after having opened the season with a 56-38 victory over Coastal Carolina on Nov. 9, followed by a 103-39 loss at UConn on Nov. 11. The Cougars finished the 2011-12 season with a 7-23 overall record and a 6-14 conference ledger. They have returned 10 letterwinners from a year ago and welcome three newcomers. The Cougars are led offensively by senior Latisha Harris who has tallied 30 points to average 15.0 points per game. In addition, she leads the squad in rebounds with 17 (8.5 per game), and has contributed five steals and a pair of blocks. Junior guard Alyssa Frye is the Cougars’ second leading scorer with 28 points (14.0 points per game). Frye has also added eight boards, six assists, and four steals. Cathryn Hardy has amassed 11 rebounds, a team-best eight steals, and an assist, while Afreyea Tolbert has chipped in 22 points, 10 boards, five steals and three assists. As a team, Charleston is shooting 27.1-percent from the floor, 24.2-percent from three-point range, and 45.9-percent at the free throw line.

Scouting The Valkyries
Converse kicks off the season after having posted a 3-24 overall mark last year with a 3-15 conference record. Despite losing their leading scorer from a year ago (Colleen Leung with 278 points to average 10.3 points per game), the Valkyries return their second leading scorer in Samira Gillcrese. The Junior from Florence, S.C., finished the 2011-12 season with 255 points to average 9.4 points per game. She was also the team’s leading rebounder with 221 to average 8.2 boards per game. Gillcrese added a team-best 45 blocks, 29 assists, and 17 steals in her sophomore season. Kayla Garrett is a sophomore shooting guard who concluded her rookie season with 141 points (8.8 points per game) 36 rebounds, 23 assists, 19 steals, and two blocks. Jasmine Middlebrooks is a senior point guard who led the squad with 88 assists last season and chipped in 126 points (4.7 points per game), 78 rebounds (2.9 rebounds per game), 15 steals and three blocks. The Valkyries concluded the year shooting 32.1-percent from the field, nearly 25-percent from beyond the arc, and 61.3-percent from the charity stripe.

The Coaches
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 30-34 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 145-73 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.

College of Charleston: Natasha Adair (South Florida, 1994) has begun her first season as the head coach of College of Charleston and has guided her squad to a 1-1 record to start the year. Adair spent the last eight years as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University. She was promoted to associate head coach in 2007 and helped guide the Demon Deacons to four postseason tournament appearances including the program’s second 20-win campaign and a run to the Second Round of the WNIT. Prior to her time at Wake Forest, Adair served as an assistant coach at Georgetown University for six years where she helped lead the Bulldogs to four WNIT appearances.

Converse: Kaye Waldrep (Berry College, 2001) will enter her first year as the head coach of the Converse women’s basketball team. She arrived in Spartanburg, S.C., after spending four seasons as the assistant coach for College of Charleston. With the Cougars, Waldrep played an integral part of the 2009-10 season when they posted a 21-12 record to advance to the East Region Final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Prior to joining the Cougars’ staff, she was an assistant coach at Augusta State University in Augusta, Ga., for five years.  In her first year, the Lady Jags went 24-8 and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. That same year, Augusta State won the South Atlantic Region Championship and received a 10th place ranking in the Division II Top 25 National Poll. The following year, Waldrep helped guide the Lady Jags to a South Atlantic Region Championship and in 2008, her squad advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

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 16 three-pointers away from jumping into 10th place in the ECU annals, while redshirt senior Britny Edwards is 12 blocks away from etching her name onto the East Carolina career blocks list, and senior Celeste Stewart needs 37 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. Last Sunday, the Pirates’ bench contributed to 52 of the team’s 84 points in the victory over St. Andrew’s. Off the bench, ECU was led by junior Katie Paschal who notched a team-high 11 points and shot 66.7-percent in the contest. Sophomore Dana Jones was a major contributer as well, dropping in eight points and shooting 60-percent from the field for the Pirates. In addition, junior Elise Shelton came off the bench and tallied seven points to go along with a team-leading 11 rebounds in East Carolina’s 84-41 win.

Getting Offensive
Redshirt senior forward Whitny Edwards opened the season with a team-leading 16 points at William & Mary. She followed that performance with seven points in just 14 minutes of action against St. Andrew’s last Sunday. After two games, Whitny Edwards is the team’s leading scorer as she is averaging 11.5 points per game with 23 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 just two games with the Pirates, her twin sister Whitny Edwards is leading the team in rebounds with 12 to average 6.0 rebounds per game. Hot on her tail is 6-foot-4 junior center Elise Shelton who has notched 11 boards to average 5.5 rebounds per game.

Thanks for the Assistance
Senior Celeste Stewart picked up right where she left off last season - leading the team in assists. The 5-foot-8 guard has dished out 10 assists in two games to average 5.0 assists per game. With the 10 helpers on the year, Stewart is 37 away from cracking into the ECU career record book.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
In just two games thus far, redshirt sophomore Kyani White is leading the team in steals with 11 to average 5.5 steals per game. The gritty guard has also added 16 points, nine boards, and five assists.

Block Party
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. Despite only playing five minutes in the Pirates’ 84-41 win over St. Andrew’s, Britny Edwards still managed to collect a block in the contest. The 6-foot-1 power forward and center is just 12 blocks away from breaking into the Top 10 in the ECU career record book.

Good Things Happen in Threes
East Carolina  has made 13 three-pointers this season to average 6.5 treys per game. The Pirates’ per game average is good for second in Conference USA statistics. This season, Whitny Edwards has drained four threes and freshman Colleen Marshall has tallied three.

The “New” Conference USA
The 2012-13 season marks the final go round in Conference USA for Houston, Memphis, SMU, and UCF as all four schools are headed to the Big East beginning with the 2013-14 academic year. Replacing the quartet are Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Old Dominion and UT-San Antonio.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in blocked shots, steals, and turnover margin. ECU is averaging a conference-best 8.0 blocks per game, a whole 2.0 blocks per game more than Houston which sits in second. In steals, the Pirates are averaging 19.5 steals per game, while Houston, which is also in second in steals, averages 17.0. East Carolina’s turnover margin is +13.0, while the second-place team, Houston, is at +9.0. In addition to leading the league in a trio of categories, the Pirates are in second in assists (17.0), three-point field goals made (6.5), and offensive rebounds (20.0). East Carolina ranks in the top five in the conference in 15 different categories.

ECU Players in C-USA
Individually, East Carolina has a number of players in the top 10 in conference statistics. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White is tied for first in steals as she is averaging 5.5. Redshirt senior Britny Edwards is in a tie for second in blocked shots with 3.0 per game. Senior guard Celeste Stewart is tied for third in assists with 5.0 per game and is tied for fourth in assists to turnover ratio with 2.0. White is tied in fourth place in three-point field goal percentage (.667), while redshirt senior Whitny Edwards is tied for fifth in three-point field goals made (2.0) and Britny Edwards sits in sixth place in field goal percentage (.643). In addition, junior center Elise Shelton is tied for seventh place with 1.5 blocked shots, while sophomore Tatiana Chapple is tied for ninth in free throw percentage with 83.3-percent.

Coming Up...
The Pirates will host Norfolk State and Campbell along with Appalachian State in the annual ECU Thanksgiving Tournament next weekend. East Carolina will kick things off against Norfolk State on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. The following day, the Pirates will take on Campbell on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 4:30 p.m. to conclude the four-team tournament.