Nov. 16, 2013
East Carolina plays host to Loyola (Maryland) on Sunday, November 17. The Pirates and the Greyhounds will tip-off at 2 p.m. at Williams Arena inside Minges Coliseum. Fans who bring their ECU Football ticket stub from the Saturday, November 16, game will receive $2.00 admission.
The Pirates and the Greyhounds will meet for the first time in program history. Loyola is a member of the Patriot League and ECU is 29-15 against Patriot League schools. The Pirates own a 27-13 record against American, a 1-0 record versus Boston University, a 1-1 mark against Lafayette, and are 0-1 versus Navy.
Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 69-57 victory over William & Mary Friday night at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates used a second half surge to defeat the Tribe as redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne recorded an ECU career-best 23 points to lead all scorers, while adding 11 rebounds for her first double-double as a Pirate. She also contributed a pair of steals and an assist while shooting 41.2-percent (7-of-17) from the field, 66.7-percent (4-for-6) from beyond the arc, and 83.8-percent (5-for-6) from the free throw line. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice added 13 points to go along with a game-high three steals and two rebounds, while junior forward Tatiana Chapple added six points, four boards, three assists, and one steal. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw chipped in six points of her own, while posting 10 rebounds, two blocks, and one assist, and junior guard Janesha Ebron dished out a game-best five assists, four points, one steal, one rebound, and one block. William & Mary out-shot the Pirates 39.3-percent to 37.7-percent in the contest, but East Carolina held the edge in rebounds (49-31), assists (15-11), and blocks (4-3).
About the Pirates
ECU is off to a 3-0 start this season, their first 3-0 start since the 2009-10 season, as the Pirates have defeated Virginia Intermont (102-47), George Mason (75-66), and William & Mary (69-57). In three games so far, East Carolina is shooting 39.7-percent from the field and averaging 82.0 points per game. The Pirate defense has been on point as they have limited opponents to 33.1-percent shooting and 56.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +25.3. The Pirates have also forced their counterparts into 85 turnovers, while collecting 48 assists to post an assist to turnover ratio of 0.8. East Carolina owns a turnover margin of +7.0. ECU has grabbed 57 steals on the year to average 19.0 steals per game. Redshirt junior Abria Trice has turned in a pair of 21-point performances and she averages a team-leading 18.3 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game to go along with a team-leading 11 steals, four blocks and three assists. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne is coming off of a 23-point showing versus William & Mary. Payne is second on the team with 14.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, six steals, and three assists. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is the Pirates’ leader in rebounds as she has totaled 23 to average 7.7 per game. She also adds a team-best seven blocks, seven points and three steals. Junior guard Janesha Ebron currently leads the Pirates with 13 assists. She posted a career-high six helpers against Virginia Intermont and added a team-leading five assists versus William & Mary.
Scouting the Greyhounds
Loyola is looking for its first win of the 2013-14 season after dropping a pair of contests to Maryland (89-53) and Hartford (59-53). The Greyhounds are averaging 53.0 points per game and shooting 31.4-percent from the field. They have also posted 69 rebounds (34.5 rpg), 17 assists and 15 steals. Junior guard Nai Brown is the Greyhounds’ leading scorer as she is averaging 12.5 points per game. Sophomore center Tiffany Padgett leads the squad with 15 rebounds for an average of 7.5 per game. Freshman guard Lisa Mirarchi is the team leader in steals with four. She also adds three assists to lead the Greyhounds along with junior guard Kara Marshall and sophomore forward Jeneh Perry who also have dished out a trio of helpers thus far.
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 53-44 as the Pirates’ leader. Overall, Macy owns a 168-83 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 3-0 record, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 16 games. East Carolina has not lost a home match in 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. 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 three games thus far, the Pirates have collected 57 steals to average 19.0 per game, while owning a turnover margin of +7.0.
Cleaning Up The Glass
In three games, ECU has five Pirates in double-figure rebounds. Leading the way is redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw who has 23 for an average of 7.7 per game. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne has collected 22 (7.3 per game), redshirt junior guard Arbia Trice has added 12 (4.0 per game), while junior forward Shae Nelson also owns 12 (4.0 per game), and junior forward Tatiana Chapple has recorded 11 (3.7 per game). The Pirates have accumulated 148 total boards this year which averages 49.3 per game. East Carolina is currently out-rebounding its opponents 148-117 for a rebounding margin of +10.3.
Pouring In The Points
After playing in three games, the Pirates have two players averaging double figures in redshirt junior guard Abria Trice and redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne. Trice posted a pair of 21-point performances to start the year and is averaging 18.3 points per game. Payne poured in an ECU career-best 23 points against William & Mary on Friday and is averaging 14.7 points per game. The duo have helped the Pirates out-score their opponents 246-170, an average of 82.0 points per game to 56.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +25.3.
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 three games so far, ECU has grabbed 57 steals to average 19.0 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 11 for an average of 3.7 per game. Second on the team are junior guard Janesha Ebron. redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne, and redshirt junior guard Kyani White who have each contributed six apiece.
Thanks For the Assistance
As a team, the Pirates dished out 22 assists in the first game of the season and have accumulated 48 on the year to average 16.0 per game. Junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the squad with 13 helpers after she dished out a career-best six in the first game of the season. With 48 assists and forcing 85 turnovers, the Pirates own a 0.8 assist to turnover ratio.
The Pirates have put up 16 blocks in two games, while limiting their opponents to nine. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with seven 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.
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 head to Elon, N.C., for their first road contest of the season on Saturday, November 23 when they take on the Elon Phoenix. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Live stats, video and audio are available on ElonPhoenix.com.