LADY HAWKS FLY TO FLORIDA FOR LADY OSPREY HOLIDAY CLASSIC
Dec. 12, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Lady Hawks will fly to Jacksonville for a pair of games this weekend in the Lady Osprey Holiday Classic. UMES takes on Campbell on Friday at 1 p.m. at the UNF Arena, then faces tournament host North Florida at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets are available through the North Florida athletics web site or at the gate. Single game tickets for adults are six dollars. Tickets for people 17 and under and/or those who are guests of UNF students are four dollars.
LAST TIME OUT: Holding the Tigers to just 18 first-half points and 12 field goals in the game, UMES earned its first-ever win against Towson 60-48 in the Hytche Athletic Center on Saturday. Paced by 13 first half points by Shawnee Sweeney, UMES led at the half 31-18 and never trailed in the second half, holding Towson to just 25% shooting. Sweeney finished with 15 points, going 6-12 from the field. In her first game back since the Thanksgiving break, Shanyce Stewart earned eight points and nine rebounds, while Alexis Udoji earned six points, six blocks and six boards. Towson was led by Tanisha McTiller, who concluded with 25 points and four steals.
SERIES HISTORY: Friday's opening game in the Lady Osprey Holiday Tournament will be the first-time meeting between UMES and Campbell. The last time UMES faced a then-Big South conference opponent was on November 19th, 2005, when the Lady Hawks defeated Gardner-Webb 77-67 at the Lancer invite in Farmville, Virginia. Campbell will play its second game against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member this season, defeating North Carolina Central 67-51 on November 16th.
SCOUTING THE CAMELS: Campbell, under the helm of 32nd-year head coach Wanda Watkins, has won its last two games to stand at 6-2 on the season. The Lady Camels are coming off an 84-54 victory over Columbia (S.C.) at home. The team is led by senior guard Tonisha Baker, a Second Team All-Big South selection last season, who stands with 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds a game off 48.4% shooting. Sophomore guard Kiera Gaines is the team's leading rebounder with 7.1 boards a contest, adding 7.8 points a game.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Coming into this season having averaged 2.5 points per game in three years, senior Karona Roach is averaging 12.5 points per contest, leading UMES in scoring in four out of six games. She earned a career-high 20 points against Mount St. Mary's, passing her previous high of 17 against Elizabeth City State. She also leads the team with 16 steals and 14 assists.
CLAYBROOKS EARNS MEAC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Combining for 20 points and 11 rebounds in two games, Ashleigh Claybrooks earned her first MEAC Rookie of the Week honor. The freshman forward had a near double double against Mount St. Mary's with 11 points and nine boards, following up with nine points and three steals against Towson.
YOU DON'T SCORE ON UDOJI: Filling the void left by the graduating Adobi Agbasi, freshman Alexis Udoji has blocked 16 shots in her first six games, leading the MEAC with 2.7 blocked shot a game. Her six blocks against Towson is a personal career-high and team-best this season. She is shooting 42.3% from the field and has earned a MEAC Rookie of the Week award this seasob.
FOLLOW THE FRESHMEN: UMES is a very young squad this season, including eight freshmen on the roster. Those freshmen have combined for over 41% of UMES's minutes this season. Alexis Udoji has had the most time of the freshmen, averaging 24.8 minutes a game, while Ashleigh Claybrooks is second with 18.7 minutes a contest. Kiana Sturgis, Taryana Kelly and TeAmber Burke all average double digit minutes as well.
LADY HAWKS CONTROL THE PERIMETER: UMES stands in the top-three in the MEAC in both three-point shooting and perimeter shooting defense this season. Shooting over 30% from three-point range, UMES is 3rd in the conference in that category, led by Karona Roach, who is 9-19 (47.4%) for three in her first six games. On the defensive side, opponents are shooting just 23.3% for three. Last game, Towson went 0-9 from the perimeter against UMES for the second time this season the Lady Hawks have allowed one or less three-point baskets this year.
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 12.2 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Primary point guard Jessica Long is second on the tean with 8.7 points a game after just getting 2.1 each game last season. Sha-Kiyla Finney was averaging 2.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season and this year earns 7.2 points a contest. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 5.7 points a game, triple her 1.9 points a game output last season.