UMES SEEKS TO END LOSING SKID, HOSTS N.C. CENTRAL ON MONDAY
Feb. 3, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - UMES welcomes in North Carolina Central for a 5:30 p.m. Monday game in search of ending a four-game losing streak.
Tickets for the doubleheader are $10 each and are good for the men's game after the women's contest concludes. All UMES students get free admission with a school ID.
UMES entered Monday's contest at 5-12 overall and 1-5 in conference play. N.C. Central is 0-20 this season with an 0-7 MEAC standing.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Hawks nearly came back from an early first half deficit to pull within six in the second half, but fell short to North Carolina A&T, losing 67-55 for their fourth straight defeat. An early 14-0 run by the Aggies gave N.C. A&T the lead for good in the game. Shanyce Stewart had a career day for UMES, concluding with a career-high 17 rebounds and six steals, adding five points. Shawnee Sweeney led the team with 11 points, while Chalyse Taylor had nine points off the bench. JaQuayla Berry led the Aggies with a near double double of 23 points and eight boards, while Tracy King had 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
SERIES HISTORY: In Division I, UMES leads the overall series with North Carolina Central 5-1, including winning the last three meetings with the Lady Eagles. The two will meet at the Hytche Athletic Center for the first time since January 27, 2010, a 64-43 non-conference win for UMES. The last meeting was January 30th, 2012 in Durham, with the Lady Hawks winning 54-46, led by 25 points off 10-14 shooting by Chelsea Sanders.
SCOUTING THE LADY EAGLES: North Carolina Central, under first-year head coach Vanessa Taylor, is looking for its first win of the season, standing at 0-20 overall and 0-7 in conference games, the only winless team currently in the MEAC. The team, consisting of eight active players, is led by redshirt senior forward Chasidy Williams, who averages 10 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. Freshman forward Tisha Dixon is the team's best rebounder with 8.2 boards a contest, averaging 7.2 points a game.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is doing it all for UMES this season. She is averaging 13.8 points per contest this season, leading the team in scoring in 12 out of 17 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 and 40 assists. 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 nine games, she has earned at least eight points in eight of them, including four 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.
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 8.4 rebounds a contest, standing fifth in the MEAC, earning a career-high 17 rebounds against North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
LADY HAWKS ARE ONE OF THE BEST FROM THE PERIMETER: UMES has the MEAC's second-best perimeter shooting team in the MEAC at 32.4%. 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-six in the MEAC in three-point field goal %: Roach is third at 38.5% and Sweeney is sixth at 36.5%. Sha-Kiyla Finney is 14th at 31.1%.
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 13.8 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 7.5 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 7.8 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.