Nov. 21, 2013
East Carolina travels to Elon for its first road game of the season. The Pirates and the Phoenix will go head-to-head on Saturday, November 23, at 2 p.m., inside Alumni Gym in Elon, N.C. Live stats and video will be available on ElonPhoenix.com.
The Pirates and the Phoenix will meet for the 11th time in program history and East Carolina leads the all-time series, 8-2. The two teams crossed paths last season on December 29, 2012 and ECU defeated Elon, 71-64, in Greenville, N.C. Saturday’s contest marks the first time the Pirates will play in Elon, N.C., since January 17, 1978, when the Pirates were victorious over the Phoenix, 79-64. Elon is looking for its first win over East Carolina since February 6, 1975, when the Phoenix held off the Pirates, 71-64.
Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 68-47 victory over Loyola (Md.) last Sunday at Minges Coliseum. In that game, the Pirates out-shot the Greyhounds 38.6-percent to 31.9-percent and ECU held the edge in rebounding (47-30) as well. Additionally, East Carolina recorded 14 assists to Loyola’s 10, while the Pirates collected 15 steals and the Greyhounds grabbed 12. ECU used a 16-0 run in the first half to break the game open and the Pirates led by as many as 27 (65-38) en route to a 68-47 win. The Pirates were led by redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne who poured in a career-high 26 points while shooting 66.7-percent (8-for-12) from the field, 83.3-percent (5-for-6) from three-point range and a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. She also added seven rebounds and a steal in the contest. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice contributed nine points, four boards, two assists and a steal, while junior forward Tatiana Chapple led the Pirates with eight rebounds, six points, one assist and a steal. Junior guard Janesha Ebron notched a game-high five assists while posting four boards, three steals, and two points. Ondrea Shaw, a redshirt junior post, led ECU with four blocks and seven rebounds, while senior forward Kristine Mial was the team leader in steals with four.
About the Pirates
ECU is off to its first 4-0 start since the 2009-10 season, as the Pirates have defeated Virginia Intermont (102-47), George Mason (75-66), William & Mary (69-57), and Loyola (68-47). East Carolina is shooting 39.5-percent from the field and averaging 78.5 points per game. The Pirate defense has been on point as they have limited opponents to 33.3-percent shooting and 54.2 points per game for a scoring margin of +24.3. The Pirates have also forced their counterparts into 108 turnovers, while collecting 62 assists to post an assist to turnover ratio of 0.7. East Carolina owns a turnover margin of +6.0. ECU has grabbed 72 steals on the year to average 18.0 steals per game. The Pirates are led offensively by redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne and redshirt junior guard Abria Trice. The duo have combined for 134 points as Payne averages 17.5 points per game and Trice chips in 16.0. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with 30 rebounds to average 7.5 per game. She is also the team leader in blocks with 11. Junior guard Janesha Ebron sets the standard for the Pirates with 18 assists for an average of 4.5 per game.
Scouting the Phoenix
Elon comes into the game against the Pirates with a 2-1 overall record after a pair of wins versus Winston-Salem State (73-68) and UNC Wilmington (75-64) before losing to VCU (93-76). The Phoenix are averaging 74.7 points per game, but have allowed 75.0. They are out-rebounding their opponents 39.3 to 38.0 rebounds per game, and hold the edge in blocked shots (11-2) as well as assists (43-37). The Phoenix have four scorers who average double-figures in senior guard Kelsey Harris (16.7 ppg), junior guard Zora Stephenson (12.7 ppg), junior guard/forward Sam Coffer (12.3 ppg), and freshman guard Lauren Brown (10.0 ppg). Freshman forward Jenifer Rhodes leads Elon in rebounding as she averages 9.5 boards per game. Right behind her is Coffer who contributes 9.3 rebounds per game. Harris is the team leader in assists with 23 for an average of 7.7 per game.
On This Date in ECU Women’s Basketball History
The East Carolina women’s basketball team embarks on the ninth contest played on November 23 in program history when the Pirates take on Elon this Saturday. In the Lady Pirates’ 44-year history, ECU has compiled a 3-5 record on November 23. The Pirates first set foot on the hardwood on this date in 1979 and went on to defeat St. John’s, 83-71, in Queens, N.Y. ECU collected its three victories on November 23 in the first four games played on that date. Since then, the Pirates have dropped the last four contests, most recently falling to Winthrop, 66-61, at the Lady Pirate Invitational in 2007.
Making their Mark Pirate Nation
The 2013-14 season brought eight new faces to Pirate Nation as the women’s basketball team welcomed six newcomers in addition to a pair of players who redshirted for the Pirates a year ago. In the first four games of the season, these eight players have each begun to make their mark on the ECU women’s basketball program. Leading the way are redshirts Jada Payne and Abria Trice who are the Pirates’ leading scorers with 17.5 points per game and 16.0 points per game, respectively. Although, Payne and Trice did not see any in-game action last season, the pair earned significant playing time at practice that has led to their starting this year. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is a transfer from George Mason who came into Greenville and immediately has made an impact. She is leading ECU with 7.5 rebounds per game and 11 blocks on the year, while averaging 18.5 minutes per game in a starting role. Despite not earning a starting spot on the squad, true freshman J’Kyra Brown has seen action in all four games this season and collected 20 points in her collegiate debut. She is averaging 7.8 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per game. Shae Nelson, a transfer from Northwest Florida State, is third on the team in scoring as she averages 8.7 points per game and has collected 4.0 rebounds per game to go along with four steals.
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 4-0 record, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 17 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.
A defensively strong team, East Carolina has limited its opponents to 54.2 points per game, while averaging 78.5 points per game for a scoring margin of +24.3. The Pirates’ scoring margin (+24.3) and scoring defense (54.2) rank third in C-USA, while their scoring offense (78.5) is good for fourth. Additionally, the Pirates have collected 72 steals to average 18.0 per game to lead the conference, while forcing their counterparts into 108 turnovers to average 27.0 per game. The Pirates have also put up 21 blocks to average 5.3 per game which is good for fifth in the league. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice owns a team-leading 12 steals (3.0 per game) which ranks fifth in Conference USA, while redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw has collected a team-best 11 blocks (2.8 per game) which ties for third in the league.
Cleaning Up The Glass
The Pirates have accumulated 195 rebounds to average 48.8 per game in the first four games of the season. Their rebounding average is good for first in Conference USA. As a team, the Pirates have accumulated 87 offensive rebounds and 108 defensive rebounds. ECU’s offensive rebounding average of 21.8 per game also tops the conference. Leading the way individually is redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw who has contributed 30 boards this year to average 7.5 per game which ranks her 15th in C-USA. Right behind her is redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne who adds 29 rebounds for an average of 7.3 per game and ranks 18th in the league. As a team, the Pirates are out-rebounding their opponents 48.8 per game to 36.8 per game for a rebounding margin of +12.0 to rank second in the conference.
Pouring In The Points
With four games under their belt, the Pirates have two double-figure scorers in redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne (17.5 points per game) and redshirt junior guard Abria Trice (16.0 points per game). Payne’s scoring average is good for fifth in Conference USA, while Trice’s ties for seventh. So far this season, ECU has had at least one 20-point performance in each game as Trice and freshman guard J’Kyra Brown recorded 21 and 20 points, respectively, in ECU’s season opener. Trice followed that performance with another 21-point effort in the second game of the season. Since then, Payne has turned in back-to-back 20-point showings as she registered 23 points in game three against William & Mary and a career-best 26 points versus Loyola (Md.) in the fourth game of the year.
Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates are known for steals. ECU has grabbed 72 steals in the first four games of the season to average 18.0 per game which sets the standard in Conference USA. The Pirates have collected 22 more steals than Florida Atlantic (16.7 per game) which sits in second in league statistics. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is the team-leader in steals with 12 as she averages 3.0 per game to rank fifth in the C-USA. Following Trice is senior forward Kristine Mial who has garnered seven steals in three games for an average of 2.3 per game and junior guard Janesha Ebron who has collected nine swipes in four games to average 2.3. Mial is tied for 11th in the conference, while Ebron ranks 15th.
Thanks For the Assistance
The Pirates have dished out 62 assists in the first four games of the season to average 15.5 per game which ranks fourth in Conference USA. East Carolina owns an assist to turnover ratio of 0.7 for a seventh-place ranking in the league. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the team-leader with 18 helpers on the year to rank her fifth in the conference. She is also tied for fifth in C-USA with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.0.
ECU has put up 21 blocks in four games to average 5.3 per game which is good for third in Conference USA statistics. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with 11 blocks for an average of 2.3 blocks per game which ties her for third in the conference. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice has contributed four blocks in as many games to average 1.0 per game to tie for ninth in C-USA.
ECU has 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.
ECU in C-USA
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the top five in 14 of 21 Conference USA statistical categories this season. The Pirates are first in rebounding offense (48.8), steals per game (18.0), offensive rebounds per game (21.8), and offensive rebounding percentage (48.3). Additionally the Pirates are second in the league free throw percentage (74.5), rebounding margin (+12.0), three-point field goals made (7.0) and tied for second in three-point field goal percent defense (25.0). ECU also ranks third in scoring defense (54.2), scoring margin (+24.3), field goal defense (32.9), and blocked shots per game (5.3), while ranking fourth in scoring offense (78.5) and assists per game (15.5).
Pirates in C-USA
Five Pirates have found themselves ranked in the top 20 in Conference USA individual statistics this year. Leading the way for East Carolina is redshirt junior guard Abria Trice who is tied for fifth in steals per game (3.0), tied for seventh in scoring (16.0 ppg), tied for ninth in blocked shots per game (1.0) and 11th in free throw percentage (90.9). Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne’s name also appears four times in the C-USA statistics as she ranks third in both three-point field goal percentage (64.7) and three-point made field goals per game (2.8). Payne is also ranked fifth in scoring (17.5 ppg) and 18th in rebounding (7.3 rpg). Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is tied for third in blocked shots per game as she averages 2.8. She also ranks 10th in offensive rebounds per game (3.8) and 15th in rebounding (7.5 rpg). Junior guard Janesha Ebron has amassed 18 assists to average 4.5 per game which ranks fifth in the league. Additionally, she is tied for fifth in assist to turnover ratio with a mark of 2.0, and ranks 15th in steals per game with nine swipes in four games to average 2.3. Senior forward Kristine Mial also averages 2.3 steals per game but is tied for 11th in the conference as she has collected seven steals in just three games.
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 host their annual Thanksgiving Tournament Friday, November 29 - Sunday, December 1, at Minges Coliseum. ECU welcomes the IUPUI Jaguars and the Cleveland State Vikings to Greenville. East Carolina and IUPUI open the tournament on Friday, November 29 at 5 p.m. The Jaguars and Vikings will battle it out on Saturday, November 30 in a 5 p.m., contest, before the Pirates and Cleveland State close out the tournament with a 2:30 p.m., tip-off on Sunday, December 1.