LADY HAWKS RETURN TO THE HYTCHE TO TAKE ON THE AGGIES
Feb. 1, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The Lady Hawks are back home and will play a pair of doubleheaders at the Hytche Athletic Center, starting with North Carolina A&T on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the doubleheader are $10, and they are good for both the women's game and men's contest. All UMES students and faculty may enter for free with a school ID.
UMES comes into Saturday looking to snap a three-game losing streak, standing at 5-11 overall and 1-4 against MEAC competition. North Carolina A&T enters at 12-7 overall, having won its last two games, and 4-2 in-conference.
LAST TIME OUT: UMES had a chance for a final shot with a one-point deficit with 13 seconds left, but after a missed Jessica Long jumper and a Shanyce Stewart turnover, the Lady Hawks fell just short 55-54 to Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach on Monday for their third loss in a row. Karona Roach led UMES with 14 points, adding six rebounds, while Sha-Kiyla Finney contributed three points, nine boards and five assists. For BCU, Terrenisha Hollis earned a double double with 11 points and rebounds, while Chastity Rene Taylor and Jasmine Evans each contributed 10 points.
SERIES HISTORY: UMES is seeking to end an eight-game losing streak to North Carolina A&T on Saturday, the only regular season meeting between the two schools. Overall, N.C. A&T leads the series 38-25. Last season, UMES fell to the Aggies 53-50 in Greensboro. The Lady Hawks were led by Adobi Agbasi, who finished with 10 points, eight boards and four blocks. N.C. A&T's Tiffanie Adair had a double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES: North Carolina A&T, under the helm of first-year head coach Tarrell Robinson, stands at 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the MEAC. The Aggies have won their last two games, coming off a 70-64 comeback win over Morgan State on Monday. Senior forward/guard JaQuayla Berry is the team leader in scoring, rebounding and steals with 12.1 points, 6.7 boards and 1.9 thieveries a game. Junior guard Tracy King averages 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds a contest, while redshirt junior Amber Calvin is the MEAC leader in three-point shooting at 45.5% and free throw percentage at 90.6%, scoring 10.1 points per game.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is doing it all for UMES this season. She is averaging 14.1 points per contest this season, leading the team in scoring in 12 out of 16 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 33 steals, 39 assists and a 76.2% 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 35 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 40.9% and is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds a contest.
SURGING SHAWNEE: Shawnee Sweeney has emerged as a consistent scoring threat for UMES. The last eight games, she has earned at least eight points in seven of them, including three double digit scoring contests. She scored 13 points each against American and Norfolk State and has a team-best 27 made three-point baskets this year, standing fifth in the MEAC with a 38% three-point percentage.
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 7.8 rebounds a contest, standing sixth in the MEAC, and leading the team with 44 offensive boards and 65 defensive boards.
LADY HAWKS ARE THE BEST FROM THE PERIMETER: UMES now has the top perimeter shooting team in the MEAC at 33.5%. The team also averages a conference-best 5.6 three-point field goals per game. In the last four games, UMES has scored 34 three-pointers, sparked by a 14-27 three-point contest against Norfolk State, the highest amount of threes scored by the Lady Hawks 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 39.7% and Sweeney is fifth at 38%.
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 eight points a contest. Primary point guard Jessica Long is third on the team with 7.1 points a game after just getting 2.1 each game last season. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 7.6 points a game, quadruple her 1.9 points a game output last season.
CLAYBROOKS EARNS MEAC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK AGAIN: For the second time this season, Ashleigh Claybrooks earned a MEAC Rookie of the Week honor. The freshman forward led UMES with 12 points and six rebounds in a defeat to Florida A&M. UMES has the most women's basketball Rookie of the Week honors this season, totaling four: Claybrooks and Alexis Udoji each have earned two weekly honors.