LADY HAWKS FLOCK TO THE NATION'S CAPITAL TO FACE HOWARD
Feb. 8, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Lady Hawks will look to build on last Monday's victory as they head to Washington D.C. to take on Howard for a 2 p.m. game at the Burr Gymnasium.
Tickets for the game will be available at the door and online. General admission seats are $15 for Saturday's contest. For more information, fans may call the Howard ticket office at 202-806-7141.
UMES comes into Saturday at 6-12 overall and 2-5 in the MEAC, while Howard is 12-9 this season and 6-3 in conference competition.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday with a 72-53 victory over North Carolina Central. After trailing early 4-0, UMES scored 10 straight points and did not lose the lead the rest of the game, holding the Lady Eagles to 28.6% from the field. Two UMES players, Shawnee Sweeney and Ashleigh Claybrooks, each set career-highs in points with 17. Claybrooks shot 7-9 off the bench and had a personal 9-1 run in the game, while Sweeney earned a career-high six steals. Jessica Long scored 11 points with six assists. For NCCU, Chasidy Williams earned a double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Kaylah Blount had nine points and 14 rebounds.
SERIES HISTORY: UMES has fallen to Howard in the last pair of meetings between the two schools, with the Lady Bison leading the overall series 55-14. The Lady Hawks have not defeated Howard in Washington D.C. since 2009, a 54-49 victory. Last meeting on February 20th, 2012, Howard defeated UMES at the Burr Gymnasium 62-49. Kwinnyata Mercer led UMES with 12 points, while Tamoria Holmes had 22 points for the Lady Bison.
SCOUTING THE LADY BISON: Howard, the preseason pick to win the MEAC this season, is 12-9 overall and 6-3 in conference play, currently fourth in the conference standings. The Lady Bison have fallen in two of their last three games. Leading the team is the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year Saadia Doyle, a senior guard, who stands second in the conference with 21.5 points per game and fourth with nine boards a contest. Senior point guard Cheyenne Curley-Payne is the league's top assistant with 5.9 assists a game, adding 8.6 points per contest.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is doing it all for UMES this season. She is averaging 13.3 points per contest this season, leading the team in scoring in 12 out of 18 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 34 steals and 47 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 42 blocks and 2.5 blocked shots per game. The two-time MEAC Rookie of the Week swatted away a career-high seven shots against North Carolina Central. Udoji shoots 40.9% and is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds a contest.
STEWART NAMED MEAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds against North Carolina A&T, Shanyce Stewart earned her first-ever MEAC Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending February 3rd. In total during the week, the junior forward finished with 23 rebounds and nine steals in two games.
SURGING SHAWNEE: Shawnee Sweeney has emerged as a consistent scoring threat for UMES. The last 10 games, she has earned at least eight points in nine of them, including five double digit scoring contests. She earned a career-high 17 points in the recent win over North Carolina Central and leads UMES with 30 three-point baskets.
LADY HAWKS ARE ONE OF THE BEST FROM THE PERIMETER: UMES has the MEAC's second-best perimeter shooting team in the MEAC at 32.1%. The team also averages is second in the league with 5.4 three-point field goals a game. UMES has scored five three-pointers in five of the last six games, including 14 against Norfolk State, the highest mark at UMES under Fred Batchelor's tenure. Karona Roach and Shawnee Sweeney each stand in the top-five in the MEAC in three-point field goal %: Roach is fourth at 38.5% and Sweeney is sixth at 37.0%. Sha-Kiyla Finney is 14th at 31.6%.
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 13.3 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 8.3 points a game, quadruple her 1.9 points a game output last season and second on the team. Sha-Kiyla Finney was averaging 2.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season and this year earns 7.7 points a contest. Primary point guard Jessica Long is fourth on the team with 7.4 points a game after just getting 2.1 each game last season.
UMES ROOKIES ARE STRONG IN THE FRONTCOURT: The UMES freshmen have been strong players in the frontcourt, leading the MEAC in Rookie of the Week awards with four. Ashleigh Claybrooks and Alexis Udoji have each earned a pair of weekly rookie awards. Claybrooks leads all UMES freshmen with 6.4 points a game, adding 4.8 boards per contest. Udoji is second on the team in rebounding at 5.8 boards each game and the MEAC's top shot blocker.