GREENSBORO, N.C. – After dropping the Southern Conference opener at Chattanooga last night, the Spartans look to even the conference record Saturday in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Spartans will take on the ETSU Bucs at 2 p.m. in Brooks Gymnasium. The Spartans enter the contest at 6-10 overall and ETSU is 8-8 on the season. The Bucs defeated Western Carolina 66-50 to open their SoCon schedule.
Live stats and a video stream will be available for tomorrow’s game. Stats are available via the ETSU stats webpage and the video will be live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Links for these services are located on the UNCG women’s basketball schedule page.
UNCG’s defense is one of the top in the SoCon, holding opponents to just 61.4 points per game and are fourth in the SoCon with 7.1 steals per game. The Spartans grab 73-percent of rebounds and have held opponents to a league-low 146 offensive rebounds.
Offensively, the Spartans shoot 41-percent from the field and outscore opponents by an average of 2.9 points per game. On the glass, UNCG is the top rebounding team in the league, grabbing an average of 4.8 more rebounds per game than its opponents.
Three Spartans average double figures, led by Nadine Soliman’s (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) 13.2 points per game. She ranks ninth in the SoCon in points per game. On the defensive end, she leads the team with 1.4 steals per game.
Alexus Willey (Waldorf, Md./Riverdale Baptist) averages 11.7 points per game and leads the team with 27 made 3-pointers. She shoots 38-percent from the field and averages 3.9 rebounds per game. Against Lees-McRae, Willey earned her first career double-double and set career highs in rebounds (12), assists (4) and blocks (4).
Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) averages a double-double with an equal amount of rebounds and points at 187. She has earned four consecutive double-doubles and she’s one away from tying the school record of nine double-doubles in a season. She leads the Spartans with 16 blocks on the season.
Ajemba is the top rebounder in the SoCon, leading the league in all individual categories. She ranks 13th in the nation with 11.7 rebounds per game, 15th with 8.0 defensive rebounds per game, 29th with 4.0 offensive rebounds per game and seventh in the country with 187 total rebounds. She is 15th in the nation with her eight double-doubles.
ETSU has earned an 8-8 record, winning back-to-back games over North Greenville and Western Carolina. The Bucs look to equal their longest winning streak of the season after they won three-straight games over Appalachian State, Tennessee Tech and Duquesne in mid-November.
Along with scoring the second-most points in the league on average, ETSU gives up the most points of any team in the SoCon at 71.4 points per game. The Bucs have the lowest shooting percentage, hitting 37-percent from the field. ETSU counters that low shooting percentage by leading the SoCon and ranking eighth in the country with 13.1 steals per game and lead the league with 16.4 offensive rebounds per game. ETSU averages 67.1 shots per game and lead the SoCon with 1,073 shot attempts.
The Bucs are second in the SoCon in scoring offense, averaging 70.9 points per game. Tianna Tarter leads the Bucs with a 16.9 points per game average, ranking third in the SoCon. The senior guard is second in the league with 3.4 steals per game behind teammate Erica Haynes-Overton’s 4.3 steals per game average. Tarter shoots 42-percent form the field and leads the Bucs with 23 made 3-pointers on the season. She’s had a knack for getting to the free throw line and hits 82-percent from the charity stripe.
Haynes-Overton has made an instant impact in her rookie season averaging 13.7 points per game. The guard leads the SoCon in steals and is 13th in the conference with 2.0 assists per game. ETSU struggles from deep, shooting just 26-percent from 3-point range this season. No other Buccaneers has hit double-digit 3-pointers this season.