UMES SEEKS TO END LOSING SKID AT BETHUNE-COOKMAN
Jan. 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - UMES will look to head home from Florida with a win as the team takes on Bethune-Cookman at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the Moore Gymnasium.
Tickets for the game are $10 for non-BCU personnel and are available on the Bethune-Cookman web site and on gameday at the arena.
UMES comes in at 1-3 in conference play and 5-10 overall, while Bethune-Cookman is 3-3 in the MEAC and 8-10 this season.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Hawks had a tough start to their road trip, falling to Florida A&M 67-54 in Tallahassee on Saturday. FAMU led 32-17 after going 13-15 from the free throw line. UMES shot 50% in the second half and outscored its opponent in that period, but could not overcome its halftime deficit. Ashleigh Claybrooks led UMES with a career-high 12 points and a team-best six rebounds. Shawnee Sweeney and Sha-Kiyla Finney each scored nine points. For FAMU, Jasmine Grice earned a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Jalessa Blue got 12 points off 6-9 shooting and seven boards.
SERIES HISTORY: The series between UMES and Bethune-Cookman is a close one with the Lady Wildcats holding a slight 29-27 edge, but the Lady Hawks have won the last three meetings and have gone 13-3 against BCU under Fred Batchelor. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two schools. The Lady Hawks defeated BCU 47-43 on January 23rd, 2012 in the last meeting, led by Amber Cook's 11 points and Sha-Kiyla Finney's 10 points, for Batchelor's 100th victory at UMES.
SCOUTING THE LADY WILDCATS: Bethune-Cookman comes into Monday's contest at 8-10 overall and 3-3 in MEAC play. The Lady Wildcats are coming off a 62-57 home overtime loss to Delaware State on Saturday. The team is led by redshirt junior guard Chastity Rene Taylor, the 6th-leading scorer in the conference with 14.9 points a game, including making 42 three-pointers this season. BCU has the best rebounding margin in the conference at +5.1, helped by junior forward Amanda Hairston, who averages 9.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, shooting 49% from the floor.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is doing it all for UMES this season. She is averaging 14.2 points per contest this season, leading the team in scoring in 11 out of 15 games and standing ninth in the MEAC in points per game, earning a career-high 31 points in an overtime win against Norfolk State. She also leads the team with 32 steals, 37 assists and a 77% free throw percentage. Roach stands in the top-15 in the MEAC in scoring, free throw percentage, three-point shooting percentage, assists per game and steals per game.
UDOJI - MEAC'S TOP SHOT BLOCKER: Alexis Udoji currently leads the MEAC with 33 blocks and 2.2 blocked shots per game. The two-time MEAC Rookie of the Week tied a season-high six blocks against Florida A&M on Saturday. Udoji shoots 40% and is second on the team with 6.1 rebounds a contest.
SURGING SHAWNEE: Shawnee Sweeney has emerged as a consistent scoring threat for UMES. The last seven games, she has earned at least eight points in six of them, including three double digit scoring contests. She scored 13 points each against American and Norfolk State and has a team-best 24 made three-point baskets this year.
STEWART DOMINATES THE BOARDS: Shanyce Stewart has been a strong rebounder for UMES this season off the bench, earning at least seven rebounds in her first 11 games and leading the Lady Hawks on the glass. Stewart averages 7.9 rebounds a contest, standing sixth in the MEAC, and leading the team with 40 offensive boards and 63 defensive boards.
LADY HAWKS ARE THE BEST FROM THE PERIMETER: With a trio of solid three-point shooting performances, UMES now has the top perimeter shooting team in the MEAC at 33.2%. The team averages 5.5 three-point field goals per game, the third highest mark in the MEAC. In the last three games, UMES has scored 28 three-pointers, sparked by a 14-27 three-point contest against Norfolk State, the highest amount of threes scored in a game under Fred Batchelor's tenure at UMES. Karona Roach and Shawnee Sweeney each stand in the top-five in the MEAC in three-point field goal %: Roach is third at 39.3% and Sweeney is fifth at 36.4%.
RETURNING GUARDS GREATLY IMPROVING SCORING: Four UMES guards have at least tripled their average offensive output from last season. UMES's leading scorer Karona Roach is scoring 14.2 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Sha-Kiyla Finney was averaging 2.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season and this year earns 8.3 points a contest. Primary point guard Jessica Long is third on the team with 7.5 points a game after just getting 2.1 each game last season. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 7.5 points a game, almost quadruple her 1.9 points a game output last season.
STRONG ON THE GLASS: UMES's loss to Florida A&M was the first time in four contests that the Lady Hawks were outrebounded by their competition. UMES outrebounded Brown, Norfolk State and Delaware State by a combined 42 boards, including a season-high 17 more than the Lady Hornets. Currently, the Lady Hawks have a rebounding margin of +1.9, the third-best mark in the conference, only behind Bethune-Cookman and Hampton.