East Carolina to Host Ohio in Friday Night Affair

UABSPORTS.COM Kyani White
UABSPORTS.COM
Kyani White
UABSPORTS.COM

Dec. 19, 2013

Game 11: Ohio at East Carolina
Date Friday, Dec. 20
Time 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. | Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
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The Game
The Pirates return to Minges Coliseum for the first time in nearly three weeks after a break for finals as well as three road contests. East Carolina will play host to the Ohio Bobcats on Friday, December 20. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Williams Arena inside Minges Coliseum.

The Series
The Pirates and the Bobcats will meet for the fourth time in program history. Ohio leads the all-time series 2-1. The two teams will meet for the first time since 2005 when East Carolina defeated Ohio, 71-68, in overtime at the UNC Greensboro Invitational on November 25. Prior to that contest, the Bobcats collected a pair of victories over the Pirates in 1999 and 2001. In 1999, Ohio held off ECU, 66-64, in Greenville, N.C. Two years later, the Bobcats were victorious over the Pirates, 98-91, in overtime in Athens, Ohio.

Last Time Out
East Carolina is coming off of an 81-61 win at Norfolk State on Tuesday. With the win, ECU has won nine of its last 10 games. At Norfolk State, the Pirates were led by redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne who narrowly missed a double-double as she tallied 26 points and nine rebounds to go along with one assist and one block. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice added 19 points, six rebounds and three assists, while senior Kristine Mial contributed 15 points, a game-high five steals and four boards. Redshirt junior guard Kyani White dished out a game-best five assists in addition to tallying six points, two steals and one rebound. ECU shot 49.2-percent from the field, while Norfolk State recorded 40-percent shooting. The Spartans held the edge in rebounds with 34 to the Pirates' 31, but East Carolina tallied 17 steals, while holding NSU to just three. The Pirates' bench out-scored the Spartans' 29-15 in the game. ECU took advantage of points off of turnovers as the Pirates notched 39 points to Norfolk State's 11. East Carolina used several runs throughout the game to lead by as many 26 (75-49) in the contest before cruising to a 20-point victory.

About the Pirates
East Carolina is 9-1 on the year with its only loss coming to Grand Canyon, 86-76, at the ULM Warhawk Classic last weekend. The Pirates opened the season with eight straight victories to mark the best start in program history since the 1972-73 season when ECU kicked off the year with an 18-0 record. The Pirates are averaging 79.5 points per game, while limiting opponents to 60.7 for a scoring margin of +18.8 which ranks 25th in the nation and second in Conference USA. East Carolina's 43.8 field goal percentage is good for third in the conference as is the Pirates' free throw percentage of 74.3. From three-point range, ECU is shooting 33-percent to rank second in the league. The Pirates lead the conference with a +9.6 rebounding margin as they average 41.9 rebounds per game to their counterparts' 32.3. ECU ranks third in C-USA in both assists (15.3) and steals per game (12.7). Their steals per game average is good for 13th in the NCAA. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne leads the Pirates with 21.3 points per game to go along with a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. She also owns a three-point field goal percentage of 51.0 to lead the conference and rank seventh in the nation. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is second on the squad in scoring as she averages 16.5 points per game while adding 18 steals. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the Pirates' leader in assists with 55 to average 5.5 per game which ranks her third in the league and 42nd in the nation. Ebron also adds a team-best 19 steals and 4.7 points per game. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw is ECU's leader in blocks as the Los Angeles, Calif., native has put up 22 on the year to average 2.2 per game to rank fourth in C-USA and in the top 50 in the nation. Shaw also contributes 6.0 rebounds per game, which is good for second on the team, 2.6 points per game, nine steals and six assists.

Scouting the Bobcats
Ohio comes into Minges Coliseum with a 4-4 record after defeating Notre Dame College, 72-55, last Saturday. The Bobcats are shooting 35.8-percent from the field and averaging 64.2 points per game. The defense has allowed 72.1 points per game for a scoring margin of -7.9. Ohio is averaging 36.0 rebounds per game, while its opponents have collected 41.6. The Bobcats hold the edge on steals per game as they average 8.5 to 6.9 by their counterparts. The Bobcats are led offensively by sophomore guard Kiyanna Black who comes off the bench to average 13.9 points per game. Freshman forward Destini Cooper is the Bobcats' leading rebounder as she averages 5.6 per game. Cooper also contributes 6.6 points per game, eight steals and as many assists. Redshirt sophomore guard Kat Yelle owns a team-high 22 assists while averaging 7.4 points per contest, while freshman guard Quiera Lampkins has collected a team-leading 16 steals, and sophomore forward Lexie Baldwin leads the squad with seven blocks.

On This Date in ECU Women's Basketball History
The East Carolina women's basketball team embarks on the 13th contest played on December 20 in program history when the Pirates host Ohio on Friday. In the Lady Pirates' 44-year history, ECU has compiled a 6-6 record on December 20. The Pirates first set foot on the hardwood on this date in 1979 and knocked off Stanford, 88-72, at a tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C. Most recently, East Carolina dropped a 65-61 decision to then-No. 22 North Carolina on December 20, 2011 at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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 more than a 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's weekly national statistical rankings East Carolina is ranked in the top 50 in six categories. The Pirates are 13th in the nation in steals per game as they average 12.2. Additionally, ECU ranks 20th in rebounding margin (+11.0), 23rd in win-loss percentage (88.9), 25th in scoring margin (+18.7), 36th in scoring offense (79.3) and 37th in free throw percentage (74.6).

C-USA Freshman of the Week
On Monday, freshman guard J'Kyra Brown earned her first-ever Conference USA Freshman of the Week honor for her performance at the ULM Warhawk Classic. Brown helped the Pirates to a 1-1 record and an appearance in the Warhawk Classic championship game after averaging 10.5 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 1.0 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, and 0.5 blocks per game. She finished the weekend shooting 53.8-percent from the field, 57.1-percent from beyond the arc, and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Brown poured in 18 points in the Pirates' 85-42 victory over Alcorn State last Friday to secure ECU's place in the championship contest. She earned the honors along with Takia Brooks of Florida Atlantic and Tamara Jones of Southern Miss who took home Co-Player of the Week accolades. Brown is the first Pirate to collect the award this season.

Cleaning Up The Glass
The Pirates have accumulated 419 rebounds to average 41.9 per game to rank fifth in Conference USA. In holding their opponents to 32.3 rebounds per game, the Pirates own a rebounding margin of +9.6 which lead C-USA and is good for 20th in the nation. Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne is the Pirates' leader in rebounding as she averages 6.8 boards per game. Her average ranks her in the top 20 in the conference.

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 21.8 points per game, while Trice averages 16.5. Their averages rank third and ninth, respectively, in the conference. As a team, ECU owns a scoring offense of 79.5 to rank third in the league and 36th in the nation, while the Pirates limit their opponents to 60.7 points per game for a scoring margin of +18.8 which is second in the conference and 25th in the NCAA.

Getting Defensive
A defensively strong team, East Carolina has limited its opponents to 60.7 points per game, while averaging 79.5 points per game for a scoring margin of +18.8. The Pirates' scoring margin (+18.8) ranks second in the league while their scoring offense (79.5) ranks third in C-USA. The marks are also ranked 25th and 36th in the NCAA, respectively. Additionally, the Pirates have collected 127 steals to average 12.7 per game to rank third in the conference and 13th in the nation. ECU has also forced their counterparts into 235 turnovers to average 23.5 per game for a turnover margin of +4.2 which is good for fourth in the league. The Pirates have also put up 43 blocks to average 4.3 per game which is good for fourth in the league.

Pirates Plunder, Pillage, and Steal
Like their namesake, the Pirates are known for steals. ECU has grabbed 127 steals this season to average 12.7 per game which ranks third in Conference USA and 13th in the NCAA. The Pirates have forced their opponents into 23.5 turnovers per game and own a turnover margin of +4.2 which ranks fourth in the league. Junior guard Janesha Ebron leads the Pirates with 19 steals to average 1.9 per game to tie for 13th in the conference. Right behind her is redshirt junior guard Abria Trice who adds 18 steals for ECU this season.

Thanks For the Assistance
The Pirates have dished out 153 assists this season to average 15.3 per game which ranks third in Conference USA. Junior guard Janesha Ebron is the team-leader with 55 helpers on the year to average 5.5 per game which ranks her third in the conference. She also leads C-USA with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.4.

Block Party
ECU has put up 43 blocks to average 4.3 per game which is good for fourth in Conference USA statistics. The Pirates have limited their opponents to 2.5 blocks per game on the year. Junior post Ondrea Shaw leads the team with 22 blocks for an average of 2.2 blocks per game which puts her in fourth place in the conference and ranks her in the top 50 in the NCAA.

100-Point Games
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 rebounding defense (32.3), rebounding margin (+9.6), offensive rebounds per game (18.2), and offensive rebound percent (.480). ECU is second in league in scoring margin (+18.8) and three-point field goal percentage (.330), while ranking third in scoring offense (79.5), free throw percentage (.743), field goal percentage (.438), assists per game (15.3), steals per game (12.7), and three-point field goals made per game (6.5). The Pirates are fourth in the conference in turnover margin (+4.2) and blocked shots per game (4.3), and they rank fifth in rebounding offense (41.9).

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 league in three-point field goal percentage (.509) and three-point made field goals per game (2.8). She also ranks third in scoring (21.8 points per game), seventh in free throw percentage (.846), eighth in field goal percentage (.510), ninth in offensive rebounding (3.0), and 17th in rebounding (6.8 rebounds per game). Junior guard Janesha Ebron sets the standard in C-USA with a 2.4 assists to turnover ratio. She also ranks third in assists per game (5..5), 13th in steals per game (1.9), and 14th in free throw percentage (.800). Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw ranks fourth in blocked shots per game (2.2) and ties for 10th in offensive rebounds per game (2.9). Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice is ranked in three categories. She is ranked ninth in both scoring (16.5 points per game) and field goal percentage (.509), while ranking fifth in free throw percentage (.873).

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.

Notables
• Senior post Ariana Jackson will be out indefinitely due to injuries

Coming Up...
Following a nine day hiatus for winter break, East Carolina will return to action on Sunday, December 29, when the Pirates travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., to take on Bethune-Cookman. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.