Lady Pirates Set to Host NC Central in Midweek Contest

Janesha Ebron

Dec. 3, 2012

Game 9: NC Central at East Carolina
Date Tuesday, Dec. 4
Time 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team is set to host N.C. Central in a Tuesday evening contest at Minges Coliseum. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. as the Lady Pirates play in the first game of an ECU women’s/men’s basketball doubleheader.

The Pirates are 6-2 on the year, while the Eagles are looking for their first victory of the season as NC Central holds a record of 0-8 and is 0-1 in MEAC action.

All fans who arrive prior to halftime of the ECU women’s game will receive free admission to the ECU men’s game versus St. Andrew’s which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

ECU Hosts NC Central in Midweek Contest
East Carolina plays host to NC Central in a midweek contest at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of an ECU women’s/men’s basketball doubleheader. The Pirates are 6-2 on the year, while the Eagles are looking for their first victory of the season as they hold a record of 0-8 and are 0-1 in MEAC action. All fans who arrive prior to halftime of the ECU women’s game will receive free admission to the ECU men’s game versus St. Andrew’s which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Series
The Pirates and Eagles will meet for the sixth time in program history and ECU has won every match-up as the Pirates hold a 5-0 record in the all-time series. The last time the two squads faced each other was on Nov. 28, 2008 and East Carolina rolled past NC Central, 98-39, at Minges Coliseum.

Last Time Out
East Carolina went 1-1 last weekend at the Navy Classic after dropping a 48-57 decision to Navy before defeating Monmouth, 64-49. The Pirates were led by redshirt senior center Britny Edwards as she recorded a double-double in both contests at the Navy Classic en route to being named to the Navy Classic All-Tournament Team. Britny Edwards finished the weekend with a total of 32 points, 21 rebounds, five steals, two blocks and a pair of assists. At Navy, she notched a team-best 14 points and 11 rebounds, and against Monmouth she recorded a game-high 18 points and 10 boards. Tatiana Chapple recorded her first double-figure performance of the year after tallying a season-high 12 points versus Monmouth to go along with six rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. Whitny Edwards tied her season-high with 10 rebounds against Monmouth and added six points, five assists and a steal in the contest.

About the Pirates
East Carolina owns a 6-2 record and has won four of its last five games. This season, the Pirates are outscoring their opponents by more than 100 points (533-404) and are averaging 66.6 points per game while holding their opponents to 50.5. ECU is averaging 15.0 steals per game and forcing its opponents into 25.1 turnovers per game thus far. Britny Edwards leads the team in scoring (12.5 points per game), rebounding (8.0 rebounds per game) and blocks (17). Additionally, the redshirt senior center has tallied seven assists and as many steals on the year while shooting a team-best 56.8-percent. Whitny Edwards is averaging 11.0 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. The redshirt senior forward has also contributed 17 assists and 17 steals while shooting 40-percent. Senior Celeste Stewart has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she leads the squad with 36 assists and has added 62 points (7.8 points per game), 22 rebounds (2.8 rebounds per game), 14 steals and a pair of blocks. Kyani White is the team leader in steals with 25. The redshirt sophomore has totaled 39 points, 22 boards, 24 assists, with one block this season.

Scouting The Eagles
NC Central enters Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum looking for its first victory of the season as the Eagles hold an 0-8 overall record and are 0-1 in MEAC action. The Eagles are led by Chasidy Williams’ 10.0 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game. The redshirt senior is the only Eagle averaging double-figures on the season. Additionally, Williams has added a team-best 20 steals, 11 assists and three blocks. Tisha Dixon leads the squad with a 31.8-shooting percentage and has chipped in 57 points (7.1 points per game), 45 rebounds (5.6 rebounds per game), six steals, five assists, and two blocks. Amber Neely is the team’s second leading scorer as the freshman guard is averaging 7.3 points per game with 2.5 boards per game to go along with 12 assists, 10 steals and two blocks. Junior Tiffany Gary is the Eagles’ forward/center and is also the team’s rebounding leader with 51 (6.4 rebounds per game). In addition, Gary has posted four steals and as many assists. As a team, NC Central is shooting 29.2-perecent and is averaging 40.5 points per game.

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 34-36 as the Pirates leader. Overall, Macy owns a 149-75 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.

NC Central: Vanessa Taylor (Tuskegee, 1991) is in her first year as the head coach of the NC Central women’s basketball team and is still looking for her first victory with the Eagles. Taylor came to NC Central from Johnson C. Smith University and Elizabeth City University where she earned a reputation of winning and put together 18 years of head coaching experience. At Smith, she was the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach with a school record of 215-112 which brought her career record to 298-207. Last season, Taylor led her squad to a 22-7 record and a 14-2 conference mark. Under her tutelage the Golden Bulls entered the NCAA Tournament with a No. 2 ranking among Division II schools in the Atlantic Region.

The National Spotlight
As a team, East Carolina ranks in the Top 25 in four categories in NCAA Division I statistics. The Pirates are third in steals per game (15.0), 16th in turnover margin (7.5), 23rd in scoring defense (50.5) and 24th in assists per game (17.1). Individually, Britny Edwards ranks 14th in double-doubles as the redshirt senior center has four on the year after notching two in as many games at the Navy Classic last weekend. Kyani White ranks 18th in assists to turnover ratio with 2.7.

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 one block away from etching her name onto the East Carolina career blocks list as she has collected 62 over her two-year Pirate career. Senior Celeste Stewart needs just 11 assists to crack into the Top 10 in ECU assists, while senior Shala Hodges is 14 three-pointers away from jumping into 10th place in the ECU annals.

All-Tourney All The Time
The Pirates have played in a pair of tournaments this year and Britny Edwards has collected All-Tournament Team honors in each. During the Thanksgiving weekend, Britny Edwards averaged a double-double with 13.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game en route to being named the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament MVP. She shot 63.2-percent and recorded five blocks with two assists and one steal in the tournament. Last weekend, Britny Edwards delivered once again as she recorded a pair of double-doubles at the Navy Classic and finished the weekend with a total of 32 points (16.0 points per game), 21 rebounds (10.5 rebounds per game), five steals, two blocks and a pair of assists as she was named to the Navy Classic All-Tournament Team.

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 outscored 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 202-133. 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
Britny Edwards has tallied 100 points in the Pirates’ first eight games of the season to average a team-high 12.5 points per game. Last weekend, Britny Edwards led the team with a pair of double-doubles at the Navy Classic as she was the leading scorer in both games. She has notched four double-doubles on the year which is good for 14th in the nation. Not far behind Britny Edwards is her twin sister Whitny Edwards who has recorded 88 points on the season to average 11.0 points per game. The duo are the only two Pirates to average double-figures in scoring this season.

Cleaning up the Glass
Whitny Edwards and Britny Edwards have been doing their duty at the glass this season. The twins have totaled 123 rebounds as Britny has collected 64 and Whitny has added 59. At the Navy Classic last weekend, the sisters teamed up for a total of 38 boards as Britny led the way with 21 to average 10.5 in the Classic, while Whitny collected 17 for an average of 8.5. In the conference, Britny Edwards is ranked fifth in rebounding average (8.0), while Whitny is ranked seventh (7.4). Britny is averaging 2.9 offensive rebounds which is good for ninth in C-USA. Britny is ranked sixth in defensive rebounds with 5.1, while Whitny is ranked 10th with a 4.8 average per game.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Sophomore guard Kyani White has collected 25 steals to average 3.1 steals per game in just eight 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 sixth in Conference USA in steals per contest.

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 36 assists in the Pirates’ first eight games of the season to average 4.5 assists per game which is good for third in C-USA statistics. With the 36 helpers on the year, Stewart is just 11 away from cracking into the ECU career record book. Sophomore Kyani White is second on the team with 24 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 17 blocks to average 2.1 blocks per game which is good for second in Conference USA. The 6-foot-1 power forward and center is just one block away from breaking into the Top 10 in the ECU career record book.

Good Things Happen in Threes
East Carolina has made 35 three-pointers this season to average 4.4 treys per game. The Pirates’ per game average
ranks seventh in Conference USA statistics. This season, Whitny Edwards has drained 13 threes and ranks seventh in the conference in made three-point field goals as she averages 1.6 per game.

ECU as a Team in C-USA
As a team the Pirates lead Conference USA in nine categories. East Carolina has set the standard in scoring defense (50.5), scoring margin (+16.1), field goal percent defense (.337), rebounding offense (44.4), blocked shots (4.5), assists (17.1), steals (15.0), turnover margin (+7.5), and offensive rebounds (18.4). The Pirates rank in the top five in 13 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 ranks second in blocked shots (2.1), fifth in rebounding (8.0), fifth in field goal percentage (.568), sixth in defensive rebounds (5.1) and ninth in offensive rebounds (2.9). Her twin sister Whitny is ranked seventh in C-USA statistics in both rebounding (7.4) and three-point made field goals (1.6), while ranking 10th in defensive boards with 4.8. Senior point guard Celeste Stewart is third in the league in assists as she average 4.5, while redshirt sophomore Kyani White is second in the conference in assist to turnover ratio with a 2.7 ratio and sixth in steals with a 3.1 average per game.

Coming Up...
The Pirates next action will be on Sunday, Dec. 16, at VCU. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. in Richmond, Va. The two squads will meet for the 25th time in program history and ECU leads the all-time series 13-11. Last season, the Pirates and Rams faced off at Minges Coliseum during the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament and VCU defeated East Carolina, 62-49.