GREENVILLE - The East Carolina women's basketball team will play its last-regular season game at Minges Coliseum on Sunday, March 3, when it hosts Memphis. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m., The contest is also Senior Day as Britny Edwards, Whitny Edwards, Shala Hodges, and Celeste Stewart will be honored before the start of the contest.
The Pirates and Tigers will meet for the 22th time in program history and Memphis holds a slight edge on ECU as the Tigers lead the all-time series 11-10. Earlier this season, East Carolina dropped a 66-56 decision to Memphis at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on January 17. The Pirates are looking for their first victory over the Tigers since March 9, 2010, when they defeated Memphis, 73-66, during the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.
East Carolina owns a 20-7 overall record and a 10-4 conference mark to tie for second in Conference USA standings. ECU is averaging 64.2 points per game this year, while limiting their opponents to 54.5 to lead the conference, for a scoring margin of +9.7, which is a league best. The ECU defense has been solid this season as it is forcing 21.3 turnovers per game, while collecting 12.1 steals per contest, which is good for 11th in the nation.
The Pirates have a pair of double-figure scorers in Whitny Edwards (12.0 points per game) and Celeste Stewart (11.6 ppg). Britny Edwards averages 9.9 points per game and is also the squad's rebounding leader as she has collected 223 boards to average 8.3 per contest. She also leads the team in blocks with 33, along with 48.3-percent shooting. Whitny Edwards has been consistent for the Pirates all season as she averages 6.0 rebounds per game, and has added 46 steals and 50 assists. In addition to being the team's second leading scorer, Stewart is the team leader in assists with 111. The senior point guard has been a major contributer as she has also posted 78 rebounds and 40 steals. Junior Kristine Mial has made an immediate impact since returning to the Pirates' lineup after sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to an injury. Since her return, she is averaging 8.9 points per game and has collected 54 rebounds and 17 steals. Redshirt sophomore Kyani White has grabbed 62 steals to lead the Pirates and average 2.3 steals per game. White has also added 6.3 points per game, 87 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Memphis enters Minges Coliseum with a 16-12 overall record and a 7-7 conference ledger to rank them in a four-way tie for third place with UTEP, UAB, and Tulsa. Memphis is coming off of a 79-68 loss at Tulsa on Thursday and is looking to get back on the winning track. The Tigers are averaging 69.9 points per game to lead the conference, while allowing 66.8 points per game. As a team, Memphis is shooting 41.6-percent, which also leads the conference.
The offensively charged Tigers are led by Nicole Dickson, the conference's leading scorer, who averages 19.4 points per game. She also leads the Tigers in rebounds per game (7.3) and steals (50). Ariel Hearn averages 13.6 points per game and has added 4.9 rebounds per contest to go along with a team-high 99 assists and 43 steals. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir also adds to the offense as she averages 10.8 points per game and has contributed 3.3 boards per game, as well as 50 assists and 45 steals.
Live stats, video, and an internet broadcast will be available on ECUPirates.com.
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