GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball tips off the 2017-18 season tomorrow night as the Spartans welcome the Southern Wesleyan Warriors to Fleming Gymnasium. UNCG enters the season with five returning letterwinners, two players who redshirted last season and seven newcomers.
The season opener will feature live stats and a video stream. The video stream will be live on the SoCon Digital Network, with Kenny Mann on the call. Links for each of these features are located on the UNCG women’s basketball schedule page.
This is the first-ever meeting between the Spartans and Warriors. UNCG finished the 2016-17 season 20-15, winning three games in the WBI. It was the first postseason appearance for UNCG since the 2001-02 season. UNCG was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches poll, and fourth in the media poll. Sophomore Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) was named to the Preseason All-SoCon team. She was UNCG’s only selection to the preseason team.
The reigning SoCon Freshman of the Year returns for the Spartans in Soliman who averaged 16.2 points per game last season, best of all freshmen in the country. Alexis Pitchford (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) returns 6.4 points per game and dished out 2.9 assists per contest in her rookie season. Another key returner is Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central). Twitty was third on the team with 9.6 points per game last season and led the Spartans on the boards, bringing in 7.9 per game. Twitty and Pitchford will serve as team captains this season.
Key newcomers this season are Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) and junior college transfer Brandi Fier (South Beloit, Ill./Illinois Central CC). Ajemba was a three-year letterwinner with the Old Dominion Monarchs before transferring to play her final season at UNCG. Ajemba made 26 starts as a junior in the 2015-16 season, averaging 7.5 points per game and 8.9 rebounds as Old Dominion went 17-17. Fier added 5.3 points and 3.8 assists per game as she led Illinois Central to an NJCAA Division II runner-up finish.
The Warriors return two of their top three scorers from last year’s team. Breanna Richardson started 21 games, averaging 9.6 points per contest and led the team with 47 assists as a freshman. Junior guard Aneysa Williams returns her 9.0 points per game from last season and dished out 43 assists. Senior Tatiyana Mahone returns 5.2 rebounds per game as she scored an average of 8.7 points per game.