Dec. 13, 2013
East Carolina will travel to Monroe, La., to take part in the Warhawk Classic hosted my ULM. The Pirates will go head-to-head with Alcorn State on Friday, December 13, at 5 p.m., before taking on either Grand Canyon or ULM on Saturday, December 14. If the Pirates go up against Grand Canyon, tip-off will be at 5 p.m. If ECU plays the Warhawks the two teams will square off at 7 p.m.
The Series vs. Alcorn State
The Pirates and the Braves will meet for the first time in program history on Friday, December 13, at 5 p.m. Alcorn State is part of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and ECU holds a 3-1 record over SWAC schools. The Pirates are 1-0 against Mississippi Valley State and Prairie View A&M. East Carolina is 1-1 against Southern.
The Series vs. Grand Canyon
East Carolina and the Antelopes will go head-to-head for the first time on Saturday, December 14. Grand Canyon is a member of the Western Athletic Conference and ECU owns a 2-0 record over WAC schools. The only WAC school the Pirates have played is UMKC and East Carolina defeated the Kangaroos on two occasions.
The Series vs. ULM
ECU and the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe will meet for the first time in program history at the Warhawk Classic on Saturday, December 14. ULM is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and ECU is 4-6 against Sun Belt teams.
Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of a 75-66 win over Cleveland State to capture the Thanksgiving Tournament. The Pirates won the tournament after defeating both IUPUI and Cleveland State. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne was named tournament MVP after pouring in a career-high 33 points on the final day of the tournament. The Pirates out-shot Cleveland State 48.3-percent to 46.2-percent from the field, but the Vikings held the advantage from the three-point range as they shot 41.7-percent, while ECU shot 40.0-percent. East Carolina out-rebounded the Vikings 37 boards to 24 in the game, and the Pirates also held the edge in assists (16-12), blocks (4-0), and steals (6-5). Cleveland State forced ECU into 17 turnovers, while the Vikings turned the ball over 15 times. However, East Carolina capitalized on the turnover situation as the Pirates tallied 23 points off of turnovers, while Cleveland State scored 16. Payne shot 58.8-percent from the field as she connected on 10-of-17 field goals, while posting a 66.7-shooting percentage (6-for-9) from beyond the arc. She also added six rebounds and one block, while going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Payne led a trio of double-figure scorers for ECU as Abria Trice registered 20 points and Tatiana Chapple notched a season-high 10 points. Chapple also led the Pirates with eight rebounds, while adding two assists. Junior guard Janesha Ebron dished out a game-high five assists and added as many boards to go along with two points and a pair of steals.
About the Pirates
East Carolina owns a 7-0 record on the year after having defeated Virginia Intermont (102-47), George Mason (75-66), William & Mary (69-57), Loyola (68-47), Elon (93-84), IUPUI (71-51), and Cleveland State (75-66). This is the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Pirates have opened the year on a seven-game winning streak. As a team, ECU is shooting 43.7-percent with a scoring offense of 79.0, while holding opponents to just 59.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +19.3 which ranks 23rd in the NCAA. The Pirates are a defensively strong team that is ranked third in the nation in steals per game with 13.9. They also rank 25th in rebounding margin (+10.1) as the Pirates average 43.9 rebounds per game, while limiting their opponents to 33.7. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the Pirates in scoring as she averages 20.6 points per game which ranks fourth in C-USA and 37th in the nation. She has also been solid from three-point range as she is shooting 55.3-percent from beyond the arc to lead C-USA and rank fourth in the nation. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice ranks 10th in the league with 16.1 points per game. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is the team leader in blocks per game with 2.3 which ranks her fourth in the conference and 41st in the nation. Junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the Pirates with 38 assists to average 5.4 per game and places her fourth in the league and 50th in the NCAA. She leads the conference with a 2.2 assists to turnover ratio.
Scouting the Braves
Alcorn State is looking for its second win of the season when it enters the ULM Warhawk Classic. The Braves are 1-5 on the year, with their only victory coming over Nebraska-Omaha, 50-45, on November 10th in Lorman, Miss. Since then, the Braves have been on a four-game losing streak. Alcorn State is averaging just 38.3 points per game, while surrendering 77.3. The Braves are shooting 23.7-percent from the field, while their opponents are shooting 46.4-percent. Additionally, the Braves are out-rebounded by their counterparts 39.3-30.3 for a -9.0 rebounding margin. Alcorn State averages 4.0 assists per game, 6.5 steals per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. Tierro Frost is the Braves leading scorer as she averages 17.8 points per game. She is second on the squad with 5.8 rebounds per game to go along with six steals, five assists, and three blocks. Angelica Wilson-Reid is the Braves’ leading rebounder with an average of 6.5 boards per game. She is also second on the team with 5.0 points per game.
Scouting the Antelopes
Grand Canyon owns a 7-2 record with its only two losses coming against Mississippi State and UCLA. The Antelopes started the season on a five-game winning streak before falling to Mississippi State, 71-62, on November 29. As a team, the Antelopes are shooting 40.6-percent from the floor, and averaging 69.3 points per game. Grand Canyon averages 41.1 rebounds per game while posting 110 assists, 101 steals, and 17 blocks. The Antelopes have four double-figure scorers in Judy Jones (14.7 points per game), Kaitlyn Petersen (13.3 ppg), Johnna Brown (12.8 ppg), and Deanna Daniels (11.2 ppg). Jones is also the squad’s leading rebounder with 9.3 boards per game. She also leads the team with 21 steals and five blocks and is second on the Antelopes with 20 assists. Petersen leads Grand Canyon with 35 assists, while also contributing 18 steals.
Scouting the Warhawks
ULM is 3-4 on the year after dropping a 78-63 decision to McNeese on December 11th. All three of the Warhawks victories came at home as they own a 3-0 record inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The Warhawks are shooting 42.8-percent from the floor and averaging 71.7 points per game. ULM’s defense has given up 73.9 points per game to its opponents for a scoring margin of -2.1. The Warhawks hold the edge on rebounds as they average 43.0 per game, while limiting their counterparts to 40.4 per game. Ashleigh Simmons leads the Warhawks in scoring as she averages 19.1 points per game. She also leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game to go along with nine assists, six steals, and five blocks. Sharnice Brooks is the Warhawks second leading scorer with 10.1 points per game. She is also second on the squad with 6.9 rebounds per game.
Home Sweet Home
Last season, ECU closed out the year with an impressive 14-1 record while playing at Minges Coliseum. After starting the 2013-14 season with a 6-0 record in Greenville, the Pirates have extended their home winning streak to 19 games. East Carolina has not lost a home match in over 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.
In The Nation
In the NCAA national statistical rankings, East Carolina was ranked in the top 50 in seven categories. The Pirates are tied with 18 other teams for first in the nation with a 100.0 win-loss percentage as they have not lost a game yet. East Carolina is third in the NCAA in steals per game as the Pirates average 13.9. ECU ranks 23rd in scoring margin (+19.3) and 25th in rebounding margin (+10.1). The Pirates come in 37th in scoring offense (79.0), 42nd in free throw percentage (74.4) and 50th in scoring defense (59.7).
Cleaning Up The Glass
The Pirates have accumulated 307 rebounds to average 43.9 per game which ranks second Conference USA. In holding their opponents to 33.7 rebounds per game, the Pirates own a rebounding margin of +10.1 which ranks leads C-USA and ranks 25th in the nation. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne and redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw lead the Pirates in rebounds per game with 6.6 and 6.4 board, respectively.
Pouring In The Points
The Pirates have a pair of double-figure scorers in redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne and redshirt junior guard Abria Trice. Payne leads the Pirates with 20.6 points per game, while Trice averages 16.1. Their averages rank fourth and 10th, respectively, in the conference. As a team, ECU owns a scoring offense of 79.0 to rank fourth in the league and 37th in the nation, while the Pirates limit their opponents to 59.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +19.3 which is second in the conference and 23rd in the NCAA.
A defensively strong team, East Carolina has limited its opponents to 59.7 points per game, while averaging 79.0 points per game for a scoring margin of +19.3. The Pirates’ scoring margin (+19.3) and scoring offense (79.0) rank second and fourth, respectively, in C-USA. Additionally, the Pirates have collected 97 steals to average 13.9 per game to lead the conference and rank third in the nation. ECU has also forced their counterparts into 172 turnovers to average 24.6 per game for a turnover margin of +3.9 which is good for fourth in the league and 28th in the NCAA. The Pirates have also put up 25 blocks to average 4.2 per game which is good for fifth in the league and 57th in the nation. A pair of Pirates in Abria Trice and Janesha Ebron have each grabbed 15 steals to average 2.1 per game. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw has collected a team-best 16 blocks (2.3 per game) which ranks fourth in the league and is good for 41st in the nation.
Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates are known for steals. ECU has grabbed 97 steals this season to average 13.9 per game which sets the standard in Conference USA and ranks third in the NCAA. The Pirates have forced their opponents into 24.60 turnovers per game and own a turnover margin of +3.9 which ranks fifth in the league and 57th in the nation. Janesha Ebron and Abria Trice are tied for ninth in C-USA as they average 2.1 steals per game.
Thanks For the Assistance
The Pirates have dished out 106 assists this season to average 15.1 per game which ranks third in Conference USA. East Carolina owns an assist to turnover ratio of 0.7 for a 12th-place ranking in the league. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the team-leader with 38 helpers on the year to average 5.4 per game which ranks her fourth in the conference. She also leads C-USA with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.2.
ECU has put up 29 blocks to average 4.1 per game which is good for sixth in Conference USA statistics and 68th in the nation. The Pirates have limited their opponents to 2.7 blocks per game on the year. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with 16 blocks for an average of 2.3 blocks per game which ranks her fourth in the conference and 41st in the NCAA.
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 15 of 21 Conference USA statistical categories this season. The Pirates are first in steals per game (13.9), rebounding defense (33.7), rebounding margin (+10.1), offensive rebounds (19.3), and offensive rebounding percentage (49.3). Additionally the Pirates are second in the league scoring margin (+19.3), free throw percentage (74.7), rebounding offense (43.9), and three-point field goals made (6.3). ECU ranks third in field goal percentage (43.7), three-point field goal percentage (33.8), and assists per game (15.1). The Pirates are also ranked fourth in scoring offense (79.0) and scoring defense (59.7), while they rank fifth in turnover margin (+3.9).
Pirates in C-USA
Four Pirates have found themselves ranked in the top 20 in Conference USA individual statistics this year. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (55.3) and three-point field goals made per game (3.0), while junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the league in assist to turnover ratio (2.2). Payne also ranks fourth in scoring (20.6 points per game), eighth in field goal percentage (51.0), 11th in free throw percentage (83.3) and is tied for 11th in offensive rebounds per game (2.9). Ebron ranks fourth in assists per game (5.4) and is tied for ninth in steals per game (2.1). Redshirt junior guard Jada Payne is ranked second in free throw percentage (91.7), tied for ninth in steals per game (2.1), 10th in scoring (16.1 points per game), and 14th in both field goal percentage (48.8) and blocks per game (0.7). Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw ranks fourth in blocks per game with 2.3 and is tied for 11th in offensive rebounds per game with 2.9.
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.
• Junior forward Shae Nelson and redshirt senior post Ariana Jackson will be out indefinitely due to injuries
• Redshirt junior guard Kyani White has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of university policy
Following the ULM Warhawk Classic, the Pirates head to Norfolk, Va., to take on Norfolk State in a non-conference contest on Tuesday, December 17. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.