|Women's Basketball Preview: Richmond|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's basketball team begins a season-long three-game homestand Sunday with a 2 p.m. matinee against former Colonial Athletic Association foe Richmond.
►UNCW enters Sunday's contest at 1-8 on the season and will look to snap a five game losing skid as they return to action for the first time since wrapping up a three-game road swing with a 71-55 setback at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 20.
►The Seahawks open a season-long three-game homestand on Sunday as the matchup with the Spiders represents just the third home game of the season for UNCW and the first since facing Charlotte at Trask Coliseum on Dec. 5.
►UNCW is off to a 1-8 start for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign, when it started the season with losses in 10 of its first 11 games.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett will look to continue her solid play on the glass during the early part of the season as she enters Tuesday's contest leading the CAA and ranking 14th in the nation in rebounds per game (12.1). Garrett has grabbed double-digit rebounds in six of nine games played this season, highlighted by a pair of 18-rebound performances at Wake Forest (Nov. 14) and against North Carolina Central (Nov. 28).
►Sophomore transfer Kelva Atkins leads the Seahawks in both scoring (10.9) and assists (2.6). Atkins, who ranks sixth in the CAA in field goal percentage (.467), has scored in double figures in four of the last six games, including a season-high 20 points in UNCW's matchup with Charlotte on Dec. 5.
►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.
Northern Kentucky Recap
UNCW wrapped up a three-game road swing with a 71-55 setback at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 20.
►Trailing by four late in the first half, Northern Kentucky closed the opening frame on a 15-2 run to take a 31-24 lead at the break. The Norse continued their strong play in the second half, taking advantage of a 16-2 spurt midway through the frame to put the game out of reach.
►Northern Kentucky benefitted from a balanced offensive attack that saw four players reach double figures as the Norse finished the game shooting 48.1 percent (26-of-54) from the floor, highlighted by a 13-of-25 (.520) effort from the field in the first half.
► Seniors Chelsea McGowen and Tawanna Lee and junior Jessica Freeman tallied 14 points apiece to lead UNCW, who held below 40 percent from the floor for the fourth straight contest as it was just 24-of-64 (.375) from the field.
►UNCW was outrebounded for the seventh time this season as the Norse posted a 38-34 advantage on the glass.
►The two teams combined to commit 35 turnovers with UNCW holding an 18-17 edge in that category.
►UNCW recorded double figure assists for the fifth time this season and the fifth time in seven games as it finished with 14 helpers.
►The Seahawks tallied double-digit steals for the second time this season as it ended the game with 13 thefts.
►The Norse posted a 34-16 advantage in points in the paint, highlighted by a 18-4 edge in the first half.
►Northern Kentucky's bench out-scored UNCW's reserves by a 28-0 margin. It marked the first time this season that the Seahawks have gone an entire game without receiving a point from a non-starter.
►The Norse posted a 14-5 advantage in second-chance points, including a 9-3 margin in the second half.
►Sophomore Kelva Atkins established a new season high with five steals as the Seahawks finished with a season-high 13 steals.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett pulled down double-figure rebounds for the sixth time this season as she grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds versus the Norse.
►McGowen established a new career-high in points, the breaking old mark of 12 set against William & Mary on Feb. 5, 2012.
►Richmond brings a 7-6 record into Sunday's contest as it continues a coastal road swing that saw the Spiders suffer a 70-62 setback at the College of Charleston on Friday.
►Junior Kristina King paces a balanced Richmond lineup that features seven players averaging more than four points per game with a 13.8 scoring average. She poured in a career-high 29 points in the Spiders' 70-66 victory at CAA foe James Madison on Dec. 2.
►Redshirt senior Rachel Bilney is second on the team in scoring (12.3) and is first in three-point field goal percentage (.403). Bilney has accounted for more than one-third of the team's 77 three-point field goals this season (31-of-75).
►Junior Becca Wann serves as the team's top playmaker, averaging 3.4 assists per game to go along with 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds. Wann is a two-sport athlete at Richmond as she also a member of the Spiders' women's soccer program.
►Richmond has been without the services of leading rebounder Genevieve Okoro for the past seven games after she suffered a season-ending injury against Wichita State on Nov. 23. Okoro was averaging 11.0 rebounds per game before being lost for the season.
►Head Coach Michael Shafer is in his eighth season at the helm of the Spiders program. The William & Mary graduate has guided the Spiders to four-straight WNIT postseason appearances and a 132-101 overall record in his time with the program.
UNCW Versus Richmond Series History
Sunday's game marks the 40th meeting between UNCW and Richmond. Sunday's contest is just the second meeting between the two programs since the end of the 2000-01 season. Richmond holds a 29-10 lead in the all-time series, but UNCW won the last meeting between the two programs, 63-54, on March 17, 2011 in the first round of the Postseason WNIT in Richmond.
Former Conference Foes Collide
Although they are facing each other for just the second time in the last 12 seasons, the Seahawks and Spiders have plenty of history against each other as the two programs were both members of the CAA from 1984-85 to 2000-01. Richmond posted a 29-9 overall record against UNCW during their time together in the league before leaving for the Atlantic 10 in 2001-02.
UNCW Against The Atlantic 10
UNCW holds a 36-69 (.343) mark against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference as it faces at least one A-10 opponent during non-conference play for the fifth straight season.
►Most of the Seahawks experience against the Atlantic 10 has come against Richmond and VCU, with whom the Seahawks shared a conference affiliation in the Colonial Athletic Association before both programs left for the 16-member league in 2001 and 2012, respectively.
►UNCW is 0-2 against the A-10 this season, suffering a 63-58 setback at home to Charlotte on Dec. 5 and a 62-52 loss at Xavier on Dec. 18.
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 (.896) 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.
►UNCW's last loss when scoring 70 or more points came in a 79-73 setback to Appalachian State in the first round of the Postseason WNIT last March.
Getting Off To a Good Start important for UNCW
The Seahawks are 68-18 (.791) since the start of the 2007-08 season when leading at halftime.
►UNCW is 1-1 this season when holding a halftime advantage. The Seahawks one loss under such circumstances came in a 63-58 setback to Charlotte on Dec. 5, a game in which they led the 49ers, 25-24, at the break.
►On the flip side, the Seahawks are just 20-58 (.256) since 2007-08 when trailing at intermission. UNCW has lost all seven games in which it has been behind at halftime this season.
UNCW has benefitted from building big leads in recent years as it is a combined 68-5 (.931) since the start of the 2007-08 season when it holds a lead of 10 points or more during a contest.
►The Seahawks are 1-0 this season under such circumstances. The last time UNCW lost a game in which it led by 10 points or more came in a 63-54 setback to Eastern Michigan in the second round of the Postseason WNIT on March 21, 2011. In that game, the Seahawks lead by as many as 13 before falling by nine to the Eagles.
►The Seahawks have struggled to overcome big deficits in that same timeframe, posting an 11-66 (.143) mark during games in which they have trailed by 10 points or more. Eight of those 11 victories, however, have come since the start of the 2010-11 season.
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, 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 transferring to Brunswick Community College for the 2011-12 campaign.
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 10th place on the all-time list with 80 three-pointers made while Lee is 15th with 62 triples converted in her career.
►Freeman surpassed Katy Walters for 10th place on the school's career three-point field goals made list (79) with her three made trifectas in UNCW's game at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 20. Freeman enters today's game needing just three more three-pointers made to catch former teammate Treasure Johnson for ninth place (83).
►Both players have been consistent from beyond the arc during their careers, with Lee sixth (.343) and Freeman seventh (.341) on the squad's chart for career three-point field goal percentage (.341). Freeman led the league in three-point field goal percentage last season (.414), while Lee was second on the squad (.336) in that category.
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.
The Seahawks will wrap up non-conference play on Jan. 3 as they host state foe North Carolina A&T in an 11:30 tip. The matchup will serve as the sixth annual "Seahawks Tomorrow" contest, with area elementary school attending the game as part of a full day of activities on the UNCW campus.