George Mason Game Day Information

Date | Time

 March 14th | Noon

Tournament Information  CAA Championship Guide

Venue (Location/Capacity)

 Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, Va../5,100)

Tickets

 CAA Championship Ticket Information 

Online

 Live Stats | CAAsports.com Video Feed (free)

Social Media

 Facebook ( UNCWsports.com) Twitter (Team | UNCWsports.com)

UNCW Team Information

 Team Site | Game Notes | Records Book

GMU Team Information

 Team site | Game Notes | Records Book

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The No. 9 seed UNCW women's basketball team begins its quest for the program's first Colonial Athletic Association tournament title Thursday as it opens the 2013 CAA Women's Basketball Championship, presented by Jani King, with a Noon first-round contest against No. 8 seed George Mason.

The winner of Thursday's contest will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face No. 1 seed Delaware in a Noon matchup Friday.

Seahawk Storylines

  • Thursday's contest begins UNCW's 29th appearance in the CAA Women's Basketball Championship. The Seahawks have posted a 15-28 record in its 28 previous appearances. UNCW has never won the championship, but has advanced to the finals twice (2000, 2002) and has made a total of eight appearances in the semifinals, including a semifinals trip in each of the past two seasons.
  • The UNCW women's basketball program is in its 40th season of competition and has compiled an all-time record of 461-586 (.440) entering today's contest. The Seahawks have recorded four 20-wins seasons (1983-84, 2002-03, 2010-11, 2011-12) and made two postseason appearances ( 2011 & 2012 WNIT) in that span.
  • UNCW has struggled to rebound the basketball this season as it ranks 11th in the CAA and 317th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (-6.4). The Seahawks have been out-rebounded by their opponent in all but seven of its 29 games this season, but enter the CAA Championship contest having posting a positive rebounding margin in three of its last eight contests (+9 vs. George Mason, +2 vs. Georgia State & +5 at Drexel).
  • UNCW has struggled to shoot the basketball this season, ranking 10th in the CAA and 265th nationally in field goal percentage, making just 36.8 percent (575-of-1572) of its attempts from the floor this season. The Seahawks have shot better than 40 percent from the floor in just nine of 29 games this season, but seven of those performances have come in the last 17 contests. (William & Mary, Drexel, Towson, Hofstra, Georgia State, George Mason and Northeastern).
  • Senior Karneshia Garrett has been a force to be reckoned with on the glass this season as she enters the CAA Championship ranked 18th in the nation in rebounds per game (10.9). The senior foward has grabbed double-digit rebounds in 16 of 28 games played this season, including nine of the last 13 games of the regular season. Garrett recorded a double-double in each of those nine contests as she has averaged 11.5 rebounds per game during that stretch.
  • Garrett also picked up her point production in the second half of the regular season, averaging 13.0 points in the Seahawks' last 15 contests. Garrett is shooting 48.8 percent (82-of-168) from the field during that stretch as she has reached double figures in all 11 of those 15 contests, highlighted by a career-high 22-point effort against Georgia State on Feb. 17.
  • Junior guard Jessica Freeman leads the team in steals (2.6) and ranks second in scoring (10.8) and third in assists (2.6). Freeman finished the regular season with an 18-point performance at Northeastern that saw her go 6-of-13 from the the floor, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range.
  • Freeman has served as an iron-woman of sorts for the Seahawks, having played 40 or more minutes in 11 games this season, highlighted by a career-high 43 minutes against Georgia State on Feb. 17. She ranks second in the CAA in minutes played per game (36.6).
  • Sophomore Kelva Atkins enters the CAA Championship having scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games. Atkins has averaged 13.0 points in that span and is shooting nearly 40 percent from the floor (32-of-81) and 50 percent from 3-point range (13-of-26).

Northeastern Recap

UNCW closed out the regular season with a 68-64 victory at Northeastern on Saturday.

  • The Seahawks took advantage of an 18-3 spurt to take a lead early in the second half that they would not relinquish.
  • Senior guard Tawanna Lee poured in a career-high 23 points and dished out seven assists Lee to highlight a UNCW lineup that shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the floor, including 12-of-29 (.412) from downtown as it established a new program mark for made 3-pointers in a contest.
  • Junior Jessica Freeman scored 18 points while sophomore Kelva Atkins chipped in 14, all of which came in the second half.
  • Senior Deanna Kerkhof scored 18 points for Northeastern, who combined to shoot just 8-of-25 (.320) from the floor in the second half after converting 17-of-28 (.607) attempts from the field in the opening frame.
  • The Seahawks' 12 3-pointers against the Huskies established a new program mark for made 3-pointers in a contest. The previous mark was 11, set on four previous occasions, most recently at William & Mary on Feb. 19, 2012.
  • UNCW shot above 40 percent from the floor for the ninth time this season and improved 4-5 this season when doing so.
  • The Seahawks shot better than 70 percent from the free-throw line for the 10th time this season and the first time in four games as it was 14-of-18 (.778) at the charity stripe. Northeastern also shot better than 70 percent from the charity stripe as it was 7-of-9 (.778) from the line.
  • UNCW was out-rebounded for the 22nd time this season as Northeastern held a 30-28 advantage on the glass. The Seahawks picked up their first win of the season under such circumstances as they moved to 1-21 when grabbing fewer rebounds than their opponent.
  • UNCW improved to 3-19 this season when trailing at halftime as they overcame a 41-35 halftime deficit to defeat the Huskies. All three of UNCW's wins that have come after trailing at the break this season have been against conference competition.

Scouting George Mason

  • George Mason (9-20) begins the 2013 CAA Women's Basketball Championship looking to halt a two-game losing skid that has featured road losses to James Madison (67-56) and William & Mary (63-53).
  • Senior Rahneeka Saunders enters the postseason as the Patriots' leader in points (11.1), assists (3.1) and steals (2.0). Saunders has reached double figures in points on 17 occasions this season, including a 14-point performance against the Seahawks at the Patriot Center on Feb. 28.
  • Fellow senior Amber Easter paces the team in rebounding (6.7) and is second in scoring (9.6). Easter has posted 29 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists in the two meetings between the two programs this season, including a 17-point, 13-rebound effort in the Patriots' 65-53 victory over the Seahawks on Feb. 28.
  • The Patriots have excelled at the free-throw line this season, knocking down 74.7 percent (366-of-490) of its attempts from the charity stripe to rank second in the league in that category. Mason is 14-of-22 (.636) at the line against the Seahawks this season.
  • Jeri Porter is in her fifth season with the Patriots. The former Radford and North Alabama head coach picked up her 50th victory with the program in the Patriots 62-52 victory over UNCW on Valentine's Day.

Series Notes Versus George Mason

  • Thursday's contest marks the 64th meeting between UNCW and George Mason in a series that dates back to the founding of the Colonial Athletic Association in 1984-85.
  • The Patriots hold a 35-28 advantage in the series, but UNCW has dominated play in recent meetings, winning 14 of 17 and 18 of the last 22 matchups.
  • George Mason swept the regular season series between the two programs this season for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, recording a 62-52 victory over the Seahawks on Valentine's Day at Trask Coliseum and a 65-53 victory at the Patriot Center two week later.
  • UNCW and George Mason have met on six previous occasions in the CAA Women's Basketball Championship with the Patriots holding a 4-2 edge in those contests.
  • The Seahawks were victorious in their most recent tournament matchup, however, posting a 56-47 triumph during the first round of the 2009 championship in Harrisonburg, Va.
  • UNCW's 63 previous contests against George Mason represent the most matchups against an opponent in program history. In fact, the Patriots are just one of four schools (James Madison (60), William & Mary (60) and East Carolina (54)) that the Seahawks have played on more than 50 occasions during their 39-year history.

Half-Dollar Defense

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.

Interstate 70

UNCW is 70-8 (.897) since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when it scores 70 or more points in a contest.

  • The Seahawks reached the 70-point plateau for the first time this season in their 84-83 overtime victory against Georgia State on Feb. 17. The 84 points matched the eighth highest point total for a UNCW squad since the start of the 2000-01 season.
  • UNCW is 24-2 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 68-23 (.747) since the start of the 2007-08 season when leading at halftime.

  • UNCW is just 1-6 this season when holding a halftime advantage. Four of those six losses have come in games where their halftime advantage was three points or less (25-24 vs. Charlotte; 30-27 at Towson; 33-32 vs. William & Mary; 27-26 vs. George Mason) while a fifth such contest featured a four-point intermission advantage (32-28 vs. Hofstra).
  • On the flip side, the Seahawks are just 23-70 (.247) since 2007-08 and just 3-19 this season when trailing at intermission. UNCW has defeated William & Mary (23-22), Georgia State (38-34) and Northeastern (68-64) this season when trailing at the break.

Double-Digit Dominance

UNCW has benefitted from building big leads in recent years as it is a combined 69-8 (.896) since the start of the 2007-08 season when it holds a lead of 10 points or more during a contest.

  • The Seahawks are 2-3 this season under such circumstances. Three of the Seahawks losses in conference play have come after UNCW has held a double-digit lead (11 vs. William & Mary; 12 at Old Dominion and 11 vs. Hofstra).
  • The Seahawks have struggled to overcome big deficits in that same timeframe, posting a 14-75 (.157) mark during games in which they have trailed by 10 points or more. Ten of those 14 victories, however, have come since the start of the 2010-11 season, including their 61-52 win at William & Mary on Jan. 8, their 84-83 overtime triumph against Georgia State on Feb. 17 and their 68-64 victory at Northeastern on March 9.

Boston 3-Party Leads To School Record

UNCW established a new program mark for made 3-pointers in a contest as they knocked down 12 shots from beyond the arc in its 68-64 victory at Northeastern on March 9.

  • The Seahawks were 12-of-29 (.414) from 3-point range in their four-point victory against the Huskies, breaking the previous single-game mark of 11, a total reached on four occasions, including most recently at William & Mary on Feb. 19, 2012.
  • Five different players converted from downtown in the contest, led by a 5-for-11 effort from beyond the arc by junior Jessica Freeman and a 3-of-7 effort from senior Tawanna Lee.

Youth Movement

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.

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 5th place on the all-time list with 116 3-pointers made while Lee is in seventh place with 100 treys made.
  • Freeman entered the program's top ten list for career three-point field goals made with her three made trifectas in UNCW's game at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 20. She enters the CAA Championship nine 3-pointers away from matching Greta Luksyte for fourth place on the all-time list (126).
  • Lee, meanwhile, moved into the top 10 by knocking down four 3-point attempts against Hofstra on Feb. 5. She begins the tournament 10 treys away from matching Denise March for sixth place on the career list (110).
  • Both players have been consistent from beyond the arc during their careers, with Freeman seventh (.340) and Lee eighth (.338) on the program's career 3-point field goal percentage chart. Freeman led the league in three-point field goal percentage in 2011-12 (.414) and ranks 15th in that category this season (.318), while Lee is 11th on the circuit this season (.340).

Hail To the Thief

Junior guard Jessica Freeman is rapidly moving up the program's top 10 list of career steals leaders.

  • Currently in third place on the program's all-time steals chart, Freeman entered the top 10 on Jan. 31, recording five steals against William & Mary to surpass Johnnie Smith to gain entry on the the school's all-time thefts chart.
  • Freeman enters today's contest with 198 career steals and needs 21 steals to match Chandra Watkins for second place on the program's career chart.
  • Thievery is nothing new for the Charlotte, N.C. native as Freeman ranked sixth in the league in steals in 2011-12 (2.2). She currently ranks third among all league players in that category (2.6).
  • Freeman has turned some memorable steals performances during her career. She matched a CAA tournament record with eight steals in the Seahawks victory over the Pride in the 2012 tournament quarterfinals and recently established a new career high with nine steals in the Seahawks contest against Hofstra on Feb. 5.
  • Eight of Freeman's nine steals against the Pride on Feb. 5 came in the first half, representing the most steals in a single half this season by a Division I player.

The 20-20 Club

Senior Karneshia Garrett joined an exclusive club with her performance against Georgia State on Feb. 17.

  • Garrett finished with career highs of 22 points and 20 rebounds in the overtime victory against the Panthers, becoming the first UNCW player to record 20 or more points and rebounds in the same game since the 1987-88 season.
  • Sharon McDowell was the last Seahawk player to accomplish the feat, finishing with 20 points and 20 rebounds against East Carolina Feb. 27, 1988.

Garrett Gains Entry Onto Single-season Rebounding List

Senior Karneshia Garrett enters the CAA Women's Basketball Championship in a tie for fifth place on the program's single season rebounding chart.

  • Garrett has grabbed 306 rebounds in 28 games this season. She will begin the CAA Championship tied with Sharon McDowell and her 1986-87 total (306) for fifth place on the all-time list.
  • Garrett has averaged 10.9 rebounds per game this season, the fifth highest single-season total in school history. She has pulled down double-digit rebounds in 16 of 28 games played this season, including a career-high 20 rebounds in the Seahawks' overtime victory against Georgia State on Feb. 17.

Garrett Receives CAA Honor

UNCW senior forward Karneshia Garrett was named CAA Co-Player-of-the-Week on Feb. 18.

  • A native of Hoover, Ala., Garrett averaged 18.5 points and 19.5 rebounds in leading the Seahawks to a 1-1 mark against George Mason and Georgia State.
  • Garrett shot 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the floor and 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the free-throw line as she played all but two of UNCW's 85 minutes on the floor.
  • Garrett opened the week with 15 points and 19 rebounds versus George Mason on Feb. 14 and followed that performance with career highs of 22 points, 20 rebounds and six blocked shots in the Seahawks' overtime victory against Georgia State on Feb. 17.

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.

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.