|Women's Basketball Preview: Tulane|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's basketball team returns to the road Sunday as it travels to New Orleans for a 3 p.m. contest against Conference USA foe Tulane.
►Sunday's contest will serve as a sort of homecoming for senior guard Tawanna Lee. A native of nearby St. Rose, La., Lee enjoyed a standout prep career at Destrehan High School, averaging 16.4 points, 4.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals in leading the Wildcats to a 26-8 overall record and a 9-1 league mark during her senior season. Lee was ranked among the top 30 players in the state of Louisiana during the 2008-09 season by recruiting site Maxpreps.com.
►UNCW has struggled shooting the basketball in its first four games of the season, connecting on just 36.4 percent (82-of-225) of its field goal attempts during that span. The Seahawks struggles have extended beyond the three-point line as well in the early going as UNCW is just 17-of-78 (.218) from three-point range thus far. UNCW did shoot a season-high 46.3 (25-of-54) percent from the floor in its 59-45 victory over North Carolina Central on Nov. 28.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett will look to continue her solid play in the early part of the season as she enters Sunday's contest leading the team in both scoring (11.5) and rebounding (13.5). Garrett has posted a double-double in the Seahawks last two contests, including an 11-point, 18-rebound performance against North Carolina Central on Nov. 28. She currently ranks 12th in the NCAA in rebounds per game.
►The Seahawks will face a challenging non-conference slate in 2012-13 as seven of their 11 non-league opponents 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.
North Carolina Central Recap
UNCW picked up its first win of the season Nov. 28 with a 59-45 victory over North Carolina Central at Trask Coliseum.
►UNCW used a 17-0 run over a seven-minute span in the second half to break open a two-point contest and record its first victory under first-year Head Coach Adell Harris.
►The Seahawks improved to 32-8 in home openers through the years as the Seahawks won its ninth consecutive home debut.
►The win also moved the Seahawks to 5-4 all-time against the Eagles. The contest was the first matchup between the two state programs since the 1984-85 season.
►UNCW shot a season-high 46.5 percent from the floor against the Eagles. The Seahawks entered the game shooting just 33.3 percent from the field.
►UNCW improved to 53-0 since the start of the 2002-03 season when holding its opponent to less than 50 points. It was the first time the Seahawks have held an opponent to under 50 points since a 76-47 victory at Towson on Feb. 24, 2011
►UNCW enjoyed a 41-31 margin on the glass. All four games that the Seahawks have played this season have featured a double-figure rebounding margin (two positive, two negative.)
►UNCW posted a 34-16 advantage in points in the paint, including a 20-8 edge in the first half.
►The Seahawks posted a 15-2 margin in fast break points, highlighted by a 13-2 advantage in the second half.
►The two teams shot below 30 percent from the three-point range as UNCW was 4-of-18 (.222) from beyond the arc and NCCU was 3-of-11 (.273) from three-point range.
►Both teams shot below 60 percent from the free-throw line. The Seahawks were 5-of-9 (.556) while the Eagles were 12-of-21 (.571). The 5-for-9 effort represented season lows for both free throws made and attempted for UNCW.
►Sophomore Kelva Atkins led three players in double figures with a season-high 15 points. It was the second time in three games that Atkins had reached double figures in points.
►Junior Jessica Freeman reached double figures for the first time this season with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Freeman was 3-for-3 from three-point range in the contest.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett posted her second straight double-double, scoring 11 points and matching a career-high with 18 rebounds. Garrett grabbed double-figure rebounds for the third time this season.
►Senior Tawanna Lee led the Seahawks with five assists as the Seahawks reached double-figure assists for the first time this season with 16 helpers.
►Sophomore Jovana Mandic posted career-highs in both rebounds (four) and blocked shots (four).
►Tulane brings a 5-1 record into Sunday's matchup with UNCW after suffering a 70-65 setback at home to visiting Auburn on Nov. 28.
►Sunday's contest against UNCW marks the second game of a nine-game stretch that will see the Green Wave play eight of nine contests at home.
►Senior Janique Kautsky paces a balanced Tulane attack that features five players averaging more than eight points a game with a 10.7 scoring average. Kautsky poured in a career-high 16 points in Tulane's loss to the Tigers on Wednesday.
►Senior Olivia Grayson ranks second on the team in scoring (9.2) and leads the squad in rebounding (6.5) to highlight a Green Wave lineup that has out-rebounded its opponent by an average of 6.0 rebounds per game.
►Head Coach Lisa Stockton is in her 19th season as Head Coach of the Green Wave. She has led Tulane to a 377-185 record and 13 postseason appearances (10 NCAA, 3 WNIT) in that span.
Series Notes Versus Tulane
Sunday's contest marks the first meeting between UNCW and Tulane.
UNCW Versus Conference USA
UNCW holds an all-time record of 23-34 against members of Conference USA.
►A majority of their experience versus the league has come against state foe East Carolina, with whom the Seahawks shared a conference affiliation with in the CAA from 1985-2001 and hold a 23-31 all-time record against.
►Tulane is the fifth different Conference USA school that UNCW has faced, as the Seahawks have also squared off against C-USA foes Memphis (0-1), Rice (0-1) and UAB (0-1).
►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 13th place on the all-time list with 71 three-pointers made while Lee is 17th with 55 triples converted in her career.
►The duo are just eight and 24 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 Freeman 6th (.348) and Lee 8th (.338) 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.
The Jolly Coaching Tree
►His sister, Kelly Harper, is in her fourth season as head coach at NC State. Harper, who won three national championships as a player at Tennessee, spent five seasons as head coach at Western Carolina prior to taking over the Wolfpack program in 2009-10.
►His brother, Brent, is in his 10th season on the staff of the men's program at Chattanooga. Brent began as a graduate assistant and director of operations before being promoted to assistant coach in 2005. He played college basketball at Tennessee Tech.
►His father, Kenneth was a legendary high school coach in Ross' hometown of Sparta, Tenn. Kenneth Jolly also played collegiately, starring at Tennessee Tech during the 1950's.
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.