|Women's Basketball Preview: Liberty|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina -The UNCW women's basketball team begins a three-game road swing Saturday with a 7 p.m. contest against Big South Conference frontrunner Liberty.
►Saturday's game marks the first meeting between UNCW and Liberty. UNCW holds a combined 84-52 record against members of the Big South Conference and has won four straight against competition from the 12-member league. The Seahawks last loss to a Big South opponent came in a 67-66 setback at High Point on Dec. 12, 2009.
►The UNCW women's basketball program is in its 40th season of competition and has compiled an all-time record of 458-566 (.447). The Seahawks have recorded four 20-wins seasons (1983-84, 2002-03, 2010-11, 2011-12) and made two postseason appearances (WNIT: 2011 & 2012) in that span.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett will look to continue her solid play on the glass during the early part of the season as she enters Saturday's contest leading the CAA and ranking 11th in the nation in rebounds per game (12.2). Garrett has grabbed double-digit rebounds in four of six games this season, highlighted by a pair of 18-rebound performances at Wake Forest (Nov. 14) and against North Carolina Central (Nov. 28). She pulled down 13 rebounds and added 15 rebounds in the Seahawks loss to the 49ers on Wednesday.
►Sophomore transfer Kelva Atkins leads the Seahawks in both scoring (12.3) and assists (2.5). Atkins, who ranks fourth in the CAA in field goal percentage (.525), has scored in double figures in each of the last three games, including a season-high 20 points in UNCW's setback to Charlotte on Wednesday.
►The Seahawks are in the midst of a challenging non-conference slate in as seven of their 11 non-league opponents in 2012-13 qualified for postseason competition last season, including NCAA Tournament participants Liberty, Northern Kentucky and West Virginia. In addition, nine of those teams won 15 or more contests, with six of those teams - Liberty, Northern Kentucky, Richmond, Tulane, Wake Forest and West Virginia - all reaching the 20-win milestone.
UNCW suffered its first home loss of the 2012-13 season as it fell to visiting Charlotte, 63-58, on Wednesday.
►In a tight game that saw neither team lead by more than seven points, the 49ers took advantage of a 12-2 run late in the second half to defeat the Seahawks and avenge a 74-73 home setback to the Seahawks last season in Charlotte.
►The game was the fourth contest against an in-state opponent for the Seahawks season. UNCW moved to 1-3 on the campaign and 16-12 since the start of the 2007-08 season versus Tar Heel State opposition.
►The two teams combined for just 23 turnovers as the Seahawks were charged with 14 while the 49ers committed just nine, a season low for a UNCW opponent.
► Charlotte won the rebounding battle, 45-40. The 49ers entered the game 10th in the nation in rebound margin (+13.7)
►The two teams struggled from three-point range, going a combined 6-of-26 from beyond the arc (UNCW 4-of-16 (.250); Charlotte 2-10 (.200))
►The two teams ended the game shooting less than 60 percent from the free-throw line (UNCW 8-of-14 (.571), Charlotte 9-of-19 (.474)).
►UNCW was held below 40 percent shooting for the first time in three games as they finished the game shooting 23-of-58 (.397) from the floor.
►The two teams combined for 68 points in the paint (UNCW 36, Charlotte 32).
►The Seahawks posted double-figure assists for the third time this season as UNCW finished with 11 assists. Senior Tawanna Lee and junior Jessica Freeman finished with three assists each to lead the Seahawks.
►Sophomore Kelva Atkins led three UNCW players in double figures with a season-high 20 points. Atkins was 9-of-14 from the floor for the contest.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett finished with her third double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and collecting 13 rebounds. Garrett has pulled down double-digit boards in four of six games played this season.
►Senior Tawanna Lee reached double figures in points for the second time this season as she finished with 10 points. It was the first time she has scored in double figures since tallying 13 at Wake Forest on Nov. 18.
►Liberty has enjoyed success at home in recent games as they are 3-0 at home this season and have won 11 consecutive contests at the Vines Center.
►Senior Dana Brown leads the Flames in scoring with an 18.8 points per game average, exactly double of Liberty's the next highest scorer, redshirt senior Tolu Omotola (9.4).
►Junior Jasmine Gardner has averaged a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game to lead a Liberty lineup that has averaged 47.2 rebounds per game to rank eighth in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+13.4).
►Emily Frazier paces the team in assists (3.0) as five players have already recorded double-digit assists this season.
►Head Coach Carey Green is in his 14th season as head coach of the Flames. He has led the program to a 315-106 record with 11 Big South Championships and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Series History Versus Liberty
Coach Harris Versus Liberty
►During her collegiate career at Wake Forest, Harris faced Liberty on two occasions, posting a 1-1 mark against the Flames with a 64-40 loss in Lynchburg on Dec. 30, 1999 and a 54-50 victory at home on Dec. 5, 2000.
►As an assistant coach at UNC Asheville, Harris compiled a 1-12 mark against the Flames as both programs are members of the Big South Conference.
UNCW Versus The Big South
UNCW holds a combined 84-52 record against members of the Big South Conference.
►The Seahawks boast winning records against five league schools: Charleston Southern (22-1), Coastal Carolina (23-5), Gardner-Webb (5-1), High Point (4-2), Presbyterian (1-0) and Radford (4-2) and trails in its series against UNC Asheville (8-9), Campbell (16-30) and Winthrop (1-2).
►UNCW won four straight against competition from the 12-member league. The Seahawks last loss to a Big South opponent came in a 67-66 setback at High Point on Dec. 12, 2009.
According to research conducted by the athletic communications department at St. John's University, UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris is one of the youngest Division I head coaches in the country.
►Harris is the 10th youngest head coach in the nation based on birth date, having celebrated her 32nd birthday on May 1, just two days before accepting the head coaching position at UNCW.
►Harris is the youngest coach in the CAA, but not the youngest in the state of North Carolina. That honor goes to High Point Head Coach DeUnna Hendrix. The 28-year-old is in her first season as head coach of the Panthers.
►Harris will face a fellow coaching youngster when the Seahawks square off against Xavier in December as Musketeers' Head Coach Amy Waugh is the fifth-youngest head coach on the list at just 31 years old.
The Seahawks are 53-0 since the start of the 2002-03 campaign when limiting the opposition to 50 points or less.
►UNCW held its first opponent to 50 points or less during the Adell Harris era with a 59-45 victory over North Carolina Central on Nov. 28. The win also marked the first time the Seahawks had limited its opposition to fewer than 50 points since a 76-47 victory at Towson on Feb. 24, 2011.
►The last time the Seahawks lost a game in which they held their opponent to less than 50 points was a 49-44 setback at rival Campbell on Nov. 17, 2001.
UNCW is 69-8 since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when it scores 70 or more points in a contest.
►The Seahawks were 10-1 in 2011-12 and are 23-2 since the start of the 2010-11 season when reaching the 70-point plateau.
The 20-20 Club
For second straight season and just the fourth time in program history, the UNCW women's basketball team reached the 20-win plateau in a single season in 2011-12.
►The Seahawks finished the campaign with a 20-13 overall mark as they earned their 20th win of the 2011-12 campaign with an 94-87 victory over Hofstra in the quarterfinals of the 2012 CAA Women's Basketball Championship.
►The team's 20 wins in 201-12 marked the first time in school history that the program has enjoyed back-to-back 20 win seasons as the 2010-11 squad established a school record with 24 victories.
Freeman, Lee Making Their Way Up School's Three-Point Chart
Senior Tawanna Lee and redshirt junior Jessica Freeman are both making their way up the school's career three-point field goals made chart.
►Freeman currently sits in 12th place on the all-time list with 74 three-pointers made while Lee is tied for 16th with 58 triples converted in her career.
►The duo are just five and 21 three-pointers away from matching Katy Walters for 10th place on the school's career three-point field goals made list (79).
►Both players have been consistent from beyond the arc during their careers, with Lee 6th (.349) and Freeman 8th (.339) on the squad's chart for career three-point field goal percentage. Freeman led the league in three-point field goal percentage last season (.414), while Lee was second on the squad (.336) in that category.
Harris, McGowen Reunited
When UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris took over the Seahawks program last May, she was already familiar with one player on her new roster from her time at Tusculum College.
►Harris coached current UNCW senior Chelsea McGowen at Tusculum during the 2009-10 season.
►Together the duo combined to lead the Pioneers to a 23-10 overall record, the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.
►McGowen averaged 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds during her freshman season before transfering to Brunswick Community College for the 2011-12 campaign.
Seahawks Tabbed Seventh, Garrett Preseason Honorable Mention
UNCW was picked to finish seventh overall during the upcoming 2012-13 season and senior forward Karneshia Garrett was a Honorable Mention Preseason All-CAA selection.
►The Seahawks and George Mason were selected to finish seventh in a vote of the league's 11 head coaches, ahead of Towson, William & Mary and Georgia State.
►Delaware was picked to repeat as regular-season champion while James Madison was tabbed to finish second. Hofstra was picked third, followed by Drexel, Old Dominion, Northeastern, UNCW and George Mason (tie), Towson and William & Mary (tie) and Georgia State.
►Garrett earned Honorable Mention Preseason All-CAA accolades after appearing in 32 games and making 21 starts during her first season with the program in 2011-12. She averaged 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds while pacing the team with six double-doubles.