LADY HAWKS SEEK SEASON SWEEP OF NORFOLK STATE
Feb. 10, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. - UMES heads to the home city of the MEAC to take on Norfolk State at 6 p.m. at Echols Hall, seeking a regular season sweep against the Spartans.
Entrance to the game is $10 for general admission tickets and $15 for reserved seats, and all tickets are available at the door.
The Lady Hawks enter Monday's contest at 6-13 overall and 2-6 in conference play. Norfolk State is 4-17 this season and 2-8 in the MEAC.
LAST TIME OUT: The UMES offense was not able to get going against Howard, netting just nine field goals in a 59-30 defeat to the Lady Bison on Saturday in Washington D.C. UMES got to within eight at the 2:22 mark in the first half off a 5-0 run, but the team could not get closer as they got ourscored 33-14 in the second half. Jameelah Pickard led the Lady Hawks with six points, adding three rebounds, while Ashleigh Claybrooks had four points and four boards. For Howard, Cheyenne Curley-Payne finished with 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Kara Smith got nine points in the first half with a pair of assists.
SERIES HISTORY: UMES has won eight of the last nine meetings between the two schools, but Norfolk State holds the all-time series record 21-12. This will be the second meeting between these two this season. The Lady Hawks forced overtime at the Hytche on January 12th, defeating the Spartans 86-80 off Karona Roach scoring 31 points, while Kashay Barnes scored 25 points for Norfolk State. The last two games have gone to overtime, while last time in Norfolk, the Spartans won 61-58 off a Rae Corbo buzzer beater.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS: Norfolk State is coming off its first win four games with a 61-51 victory over Delaware State at home, standing at 4-17 overall and 2-8 in the MEAC. The team has the best rebounder in the conference in junior Rachel Gordon, who averaged a double double a game with 10.6 points and 10.7 boards a contest. Two players average 8.5 points a contest, junior forward Aivah Parham averages 3.6 rebounds a game, while junior guard Kashay Barnes is second on the Spartans with 71 field goals.
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 19 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 48 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 2.4 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 40.3% 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 11 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 31 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 32.9%. The team also averages is second in the league with 5.4 three-point field goals a game. UMES has scored at least 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-ten in the MEAC in three-point field goal %: as of Saturday 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 12.8 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 8.1 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 7.4 points a contest. Primary point guard Jessica Long is fourth on the team with 7.1 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 6.3 points a game, adding 4.8 boards per contest. Udoji is second on the team in rebounding at 5.6 boards each game and the MEAC's top shot blocker.