January 3, 2012

Women's Basketball Preview (1/2-1/8)

The #21 nationally ranked Pride women's basketball returns to the court this week after an extended holiday break.  Greensboro was last in action on December 10 at #20 nationally ranked and unbeaten Piedmont.  The Pride are currently 5-1 heading into Wednesday's game at Peace before returning home on Saturday to face North Carolina Wesleyan.  Greensboro will finish out the week on Sunday at home against Meredith.

Upcoming Games

Wednesday, January 4 at Peace (7:00 p.m.) -- Greensboro will look to return to the win column in a conference road contest at Peace.  The Pride are 2-0 in USA South play but suffered their first loss of the season on December 10 at Piedmont.  The Pacers are 1-8 overall and have not played since a December 17 loss to Loras.  Peace picked up its lone victory of the year, 71-58, at Salem on December 7.

As a team, the Pacers are averaging 51.8 points per game.  Peace is converting 28.8% of its field goal attempts, including 23.7% from three.  Indvidually, Crystal Alston leads the way with 13.4 points per game with Derrica Jones contributing 8.2 and Krystal Williams adding 7.4.  Callie Yohn, meanwhile, is grabbing a team high 9.9 rebounds per game.

Greensboro holds a 26-6 advantage in the series.  The Pride knocked off the Pacers three times last season; 77-58 on the road, 69-32 at home, and 83-47 in the first round of the USA South tournament.

Saturday, January 7 vs. North Carolina Wesleyan (2:00 p.m.) -- Saturday's home conference match-up will be the first game at Hanes Gym for Greensboro since December 3.  The Bishops are 4-3 and will host Christopher Newport on Wednesday before hitting the road on Saturday.  Wesleyan is 1-1 in the USA South with a win over Peace and a loss to Meredith.  The Bishops last took to the court on December 30, beating Lyndon State at home, 67-57. 

Wesleyan will present a challenge to The Pride defense, as the Bishops are third in the conference in scoring at 66.6 points per game.  Wesleyan ranks first in field goals attempted per game (66.6), second in three-point attempts (18.0), second in free throw attempts (25.1), second in offensive rebounds (19.3), and second in steals (12.1).  Tiffany Bell is the leading scorer with 15.1 points per game, followed by A'Leisha Henderson, with 10.6.  Samantha Urguhart averages a double-double with 10.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.

Greensboro leads the all-time series, 36-19.  The Pride swept both games last season, winning 81-65 on the road and 75-47 at home.

Sunday, January 8 vs. Meredith (2:00 p.m.) -- Greensboro will finish the week at home on Sunday with a USA South game against Meredith.  The Avenging Angels also play three games this week, travelling to Ferrum on Wednesday and Christopher Newport on Saturday before squaring off with The Pride on Sunday.  Meredith is 3-5 on the year and 1-1 in conference action.  The Avenging Angels played two games over the holiday break in the Huntingdon Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Montgomery, AL.  Meredith lost to Rhodes 70-68 on December 29 and suffered an 83-81 setback to Birmingham Southern on December 30.  The last win for the Avenging Angels came at home against Barber-Scotia on December 13 by a count of 81-67.

Meredith is averaging a conference best 78.2 points per game.  The Avenging Angels are shooting 40.1% from the field and have a conference high 35.5% three-point average.  Megan Rahn is the top conference scorer, averaging 25.2 points while pulling down a team high 8.0 rebounds per game.  Also contributing is Bryana Holmes with 12.9 per game.

Greensboro carries a 19-14 advantage in the series, including a season sweep last year.  The Pride knocked off Meredith at home 85-56 and 72-54 on the road.