Dec. 27, 2009
ECU Women's Basketball Gameday Central
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
BRONX, N.Y. - The East Carolina women's basketball team plays the first of its last two non-conference games Monday, taking on UMBC in game two of the Fordham Holiday Classic at Rose Hill Gymnasium at 3 p.m. Host Fordham and Binghamton play the first contest at 1 p.m.
If ECU beats UMBC, it will have won 20 of its last 25 non-conference contests and will improve to 11-1 for just the third time in program history. Additionally, the Lady Pirates can clinch the best non-conference record in program history, as they would only have two losses maximum. The 1985-86 squad turned in an 11-3 ledger, the first season East Carolina joined the Colonial Athletic Association. The best non-conference record under head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener occurred last season, when the Lady Pirates went 9-4.
ECU has never faced the Terriers in women's basketball while Tuesday's game against the Bearcats will also serve as the first meeting between the Lady Pirates and Binghamton.
East Carolina picked up a pair of wins last weekend at the USF Shootout, taking the championship with consecutive day wins over Houston-Baptist (103-59) and host South Florida (63-60) at the Sun Dome.
Sophomore Ashley Clarke, who leads the Lady Pirates with a scoring average of 13.5 points per game, was named MVP of the tournament while sophomore Crystal Wilson and freshman Ariana Jackson were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Wilson scored a career-high 14 points in the championship contest against the Bulls.
LADY PIRATES AGAINST THE OLD LINE STATE
The Lady Pirates own an all-time record of 38-16 (.704) against schools from the state of Maryland. ECU has tangled with American (27-12), Coppin State (3-1), Georgetown (1-0), George Washington (1-2), Howard (5-1) and UMES (1-0). East Carolina already defeated American, 70-65, earlier this season at Bender Arena.
WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK?
The Lady Pirates are credited with a 273-324 (.457) record away from Greenville since the program began before the 1969-70 campaign. In 2008-09, ECU was 3-9 in true road contests while 3-2 at neutral sites. Since Baldwin-Tener took over the reigns, the Lady Pirates are 45-70 (.391) in front of non-partisan crowds. The team was just 1-7 in league games on the road last season, salvaging a 70-60 win at UAB in the final conference away contest of 2008-09.
ECU is trying to improve its record to 11-1 for just the third time in program history when it takes on UMBC. It has not happened since the 1971-72 campaign but did occur in consecutive seasons from 1970-72. The Lady Pirates also jumped out to a program-best 18-0 start in 1972-73.
OTHERS TAKING NOTE
Lady Pirate fans are not the only people taking note of the team's play so far this season. In the sixth ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, East Carolina received 17 votes. The squad has now received votes for four consecutive weeks. It also marks the second-straight campaign in which the Lady Pirates have appeared on the list. ECU garnered as many as six votes during the 2008-09 season.
AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS
The Lady Pirates have played solid basketball thus far this season, and it has shown in the national statistics rankings. ECU is sixth in field goal percentage (.483), 13th in winning percentage (.909), 16th in three-point field goal defense (.247), 18th in assists per game (17.2) and 33rd in scoring offense (74.8). Additionally, Ashley Clarke checks in at 37th in assists per game (5.3), while Allison Spivey is 52nd in assist/turnover ratio (1.84).
THE C-USA EXPERIENCE
East Carolina will enter C-USA play in three weeks as one of the two least-experienced squads in the league. However, that has not fazed the Lady Pirates as they have galloped out to an 8-1 record, including five victories over 2009 postseason participants in addition to a conference tournament finalist.
DOUBLE DIGITS DESIRED
There are four players who have reached double-digit points in at least four games this season. When the Lady Pirates reach the 10-point plateau, ECU has lost just once.
FIRST TO 30...FIELD GOALS
East Carolina converted 40 field goals against Houston-Baptist, marking the 18th time since the start of the 2006-07 campaign that the Lady Pirates have accomplished the feat. ECU has turned the trick five times already this season.
SHARING IS CARING (AND WINNING)
During the preseason, Baldwin-Tener called her 2009-10 Lady Pirates
the most unselfish team she has coached. Those words have rung true so far in the season, as ECU has recorded 189 assists to its opponents' 129. Additionally, the squad is 8-1 this season when recording more helpers than its opponent. The Lady Pirates are ahead of last year's pace when the team ranked second in C-USA, averaging 16.19 assists per contest.