East Carolina to Compete in Navy Classic

Elise Shelton

Nov. 29, 2012

Game 8: East Carolina vs. Monmouth
Date Saturday, Dec. 1
Time 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Location Annapolis, Md. | Alumni Hall
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The women’s basketball team is gearing up for its second road swing of the season as the Pirates travel to Annapolis, Md., to compete in the Navy Classic. ECU will go head-to-head with the hosts Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., and will take on Monmouth or High Point on Saturday, Dec. 1 in a 3:30 p.m. contest.

The Pirates enter the Navy Classic with a 5-1 record after sweeping through the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament last weekend. ECU topped Norfolk State, 54-46, and came back the next day to defeat Campbell, 74-54. A trio of Pirates were named to the All-Tournament Team as Britny Edwards, Whitny Edwards, and Celeste Stewart all garnered all-tournament team honors, while Britny Edwards earned MVP accolades.

ECU Heads North for Navy Classic
East Carolina will hit the road for just the second time this season as the Pirates head north to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Classic. ECU will go head-to-head with Navy on Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., and will face either Monmouth or High Point Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m.

The Series vs. Navy
The Pirates and Midshipmen will meet for the first time in program history. East Carolina will enter the contest with a 5-1 record, while Navy owns a 4-3 mark.

The Series vs. Monmouth
The Pirates and Hawks will square off for just the second time in program history after meeting for the first and only time in 2011 at the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament. In that contest, East Carolina topped Monmouth, 75-52 at Minges Coliseum.

The Series vs. High Point
The Pirates and Panthers will face off for the 14th time in program history and East Carolina leads the all-time series nine games to four. The last time the two teams met was in 2007 and High Point edged the Pirates 72-70. That was the first meeting between the two schools since 1981. ECU has not defeated the Panthers since 1980, when the Pirates were victorious over the Panthers 92-72 at Minges Coliseum. This will mark the first neutral site contest between the two squads since 1973 when East Carolina defeated High Point, 60-44, at the NCAIAW Tournament.

Last Time Out
East Carolina went 2-0 last weekend at the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament and a trio of Pirates collected All-Tournament Team honors. Britny Edwards was named Tournament MVP, while Whitny Edwards and Celeste Stewart garnered All-Tournament Team accolades. Britny Edwards notched her second double-double of the year versus the Spartans after recording 16 points and 14 rebounds. Stewart averaged 13.0 points per game with 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Against Campbell, she led the team with 17 points, one shy of tying her career-high, and dished out a game-high eight assists. Whitny Edwards was consistent in both games for the Pirates as she led the team with 10 rebounds against the Spartans and added seven points. The redshirt senior forward came back the following day and turned in a 15-point, seven-rebound performance to help lift ECU over Campbell.

Scouting The Midshipmen
Navy holds a 4-3 overall record after going 1-1 in the Husky Classic with a 66-63 overtime loss to UC Davis followed by a 72-48 victory over Jackson State. Navy followed that performance with a 60-36  win at Air Force on Monday. The Mids are led offensively by Kara Pollinger who is averaging 14.1 points per game. Pollinger has started in all seven contests for the Mids and has tallied 99 points, 17 rebounds, 19 assists, and eight steals. Jade Geif is shooting a team-best 56.4-percent and is averaging 12.4 points per game along with 7.9 rebounds per game. Additionally, she has contributed 23 assists, five steals and a pair of blocks. Alix Membreno is Navy’s leader in assists with 23. The junior guard has also added 12.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 11 steals.

Scouting The Hawks
Monmouth enters the Navy Classic with a 2-3 record after opening the year with three consecutive losses to UMBC, Washington State, and Gonzaga, followed by a pair of wins over Lafayette and an overtime victory at Lehigh last week. Alysha Womack is the Hawks leading scorer as she is averaging 19.0 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. Womack has also contributed 13 assists, 10 steals and one block while shooting a team-high 48.7-percent. Betsy Gadziala leads the squad with 37 rebounds to average 7.4 boards per game. The senior guard has also added 23 points, a team-best 12 steals, six assists, and one block. Chevanna Paalvast is another major contributer for the Hawks with 54 points (10.8 ppg), 21 rebounds (4.2 rpg), 10 assists and six steals.

Scouting The Panthers
High Point will enter the Navy Classic with a 2-4 record. The Panthers’ pair of wins came at the hands of ETSU in High Point’s season opener and Bluefield College on Nov. 25. Cheyenne Parker is the Panthers’ leading scorer as she averages 16.8 points per game and 14.7 rebounds per game. Parker is shooting 53.3-percent, also a team-high, and has added 23 blocks, 17 steals, and 15 assists. Erin Reynolds is the team’s second leading scorer with 11.3 points per game. She started in the Panthers’ first four games, but has not touched the court the last two games. Kendra Wallace has played in all six contests for HPU and started in five. She is averaging 19.5 minutes per game along with 5.5 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game. As a team, High Point is shooting 37.5-percent from the field, 30.9-percent from beyond the arc, and 59-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 33-35 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 148-74 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.

Navy: Stephanie Pemper (Idaho State, 1992) is in her fifth year as the head coach of the Navy women’s basketball team and has guided the Mids to winning seasons in each of her four seasons at the helm. Additionally, Pemper has led Navy to placements in the league’s regular season standings of no lower than a tie for third place, as well as victories in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 and 2010 Patriot League Tournaments and to the program’s first Patriot League Tournament title along with an NCAA Tournament Appearance in 2011 en route to being named 2010-11 Patriot League Coach of the Year. The following season, Pemper’s squad did it again, as the Midshipmen saw another league tournament championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012. This season, Pemper has led her squad to a 4-3 record with victories over Saint Peter’s, Loyola, Jackson State and Air Force.

Monmouth: Jenny Palmateer (N.C. State, 1993) is in her second year at the helm of the Monmouth women’s basketball team. In her first season with Monmouth, Palmateer led the Hawks to the Northeast Conference Tournament Championship game after the team finished the regular season with a 12-6 record in the NEC and staked claim to the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Palmateer came to Monmouth after serving as the recruiting coordinator at Seton Hall. Prior to her time at Seton Hall, Palmateer spent 10 years on the N.C. State coaching staff. This season, Palmateer has guided the Hawks to a 2-3 record to start the season.

High Point: DeUnna Hendrix (Richmond, 2007) begins her first year as the head coach of the High Point women’s basketball program and has thus far led her squad to a 2-4 record. Prior to being named head coach, Hendrix served as an assistant coach at HPU for one year in which she helped guide the Panthers to a 20-13 record and their second Women’s NIT appearance. Before joining the women’s basketball staff at High Point, Hendrix worked as an assistant coach at Jacksonville University for four years. During her time at Jacksonville, she helped the Dolphins advance to the Atlantic Sun Championship game in three out of her four seasons.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 25 in five categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are second in the nation in steals per game (17.2) and only trail Alabama as the Tide averages 18.4 steals per contest. Additionally, East Carolina ranks sixth nationally in turnover margin (+9.8), 17th in assists per game (18.0), 20th in scoring defense (49.7), and 24th in scoring margin (+20.5). Individually, Kyani White is the only Pirate to crack the Top 25 as the redshirt sophomore’s 3.8 steals per game is good for 19th in the nation.

Closing in on the Top 10
A trio of Pirates are close to breaking into the East Carolina career record book. Redshirt senior Britany Edwards is just three blocks away from etching her name onto the East Carolina  career blocks list, while senior Shala Hodges is 16 three-pointers away from jumping into 10th place in the ECU annals and senior Celeste Stewart needs 20 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. This season, the Pirates’ bench has outscored its opponents’ bench 171-123. ECU’s non-starters tallied 52 of the team’s 84 points in the Pirates’ win over St. Andrew’s on Nov. 11, and East Carolina’s bench recorded 45 of 79 points against Converse on Nov. 18.

Getting Offensive
Whitny Edwards opened the season with a team-leading 16 points at William & Mary. Since then, she has not let up as the senior forward is leading the squad with 74 points to average 12.3 points per game. Edwards turned in a 15-point performance last weekend at the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament en route to being named to the All-Tournament team.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 85 rebounds as Britny has collected 43 and Whitny has added 42. Against Norfolk State at the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament, the duo combined for 24 boards as Britny registered a double-double. Both sisters were named to the All-Tournament Team, while Britny earned MVP honors. Additionally, the Edwards sisters are tied for 10th in the conference as they are both averaging 4.5 defensive rebounds. Britny Edwards is 10th in the league in offensive boards with 2.7 per game.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 23 steals to average 3.8 steals per game in just six contests thus far. Against Converse, White grabbed a game-high eight steals to tie for sixth place in the ECU single-game record book. She is second in Conference USA in steals per contest and 19th in the nation.

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 a team-leading 27 assists in the Pirates’ first six games of the season to average 4.5 assists per game which is good for second in C-USA statistics. With the 27 helpers on the year, Stewart is 20 away from cracking into the ECU career record book. Sophomore Kyani White is second on the team with 20 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 from a year ago when she tallied five stops versus Jacksonville on December 18, 2011. Last season, Britny Edwards finished the year with a team-leading 45 blocks. This season, Edwards has posted a team-leading 15 blocks to average 2.5 blocks per game which is the highest average in Conference USA. The 6-foot-1 power forward and center is just three blocks away from breaking into the Top 10 in the ECU career record book.

Good Things Happen in Threes
East Carolina  has made 27 three-pointers this season to average 4.5 treys per game. The Pirates’ per game average is good for fifth in Conference USA statistics. This season, Whitny Edwards has drained 11 threes and ranks fifth in the conference in made three-point field goals as she averages 1.8 per game.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in 10 categories. East Carolina has set the standard in scoring defense (49.7), scoring margin (+20.5), field goal percent defense (.328), rebounding offense (45.2), blocked shots (5.3), assists (18.0), steals (17.2), turnover margin (+9.8), assists/turnover ratio (1.0), and offensive rebounds (19.7). The Pirates rank in the top five in 14 of 21 categories in conference statistics.

ECU Players in C-USA
Individually, East Carolina has a number of players in the top 10 in conference statistics. Britny Edwards leads the way as her name appears in five categories. The senior center leads the way in blocked shots with 2.5 per game. Additionaly, Britny Edwards is fourth in field goal percentage (.566), eighth in rebounding (7.2), 10th in offensive rebounds (2.7) and tied for 10th in defensive rebounds (4.5). Whitny Edwards is in the top 10 in four categories as she is fifth in three-point field goals made (1.8), tied for ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.333), and tied for 10th in both defensive rebounds (4.5) and rebounding (7.0). Sophomore Kyani White is the conference leader in assist/turnover ration with 2.2, and she is second in steals with 3.8. Senior Celeste Stewart comes in second in both assists (4.5) and assist/turnover ratio (2.1), while junior Elise Shelton is tied for fifth in blocked shots with 1.2.

Coming Up...
The Pirates return to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum for a contest against N.C. Central on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. The meeting marks the sixth time the two teams have faced each other and ECU is 5-0 in the all-time series. This will be the first contest between the two squads since 2008, when East Carolina rolled past the Eagles, 98-39, in Greenville.