Women’s Hoops Opens 2012-13 Campaign In Asheville
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Under the direction of second-year head coach Wendy Palmer, the UNCG women's basketball team tips off a new season this weekend at the Asheville Collegiate Invitational.
The Blue and Gold faces Big South foe Charleston Southern Saturday, Nov. 10 in a 2 p.m. tip at Kimmel Arena.
The Spartans return all five starters from a 2011-12 squad that produced a 4-25 record. The Blue and Gold will also welcome the services of nine newcomers - seven of which are freshmen. Leading scorer and junior guard Breonna Patterson is back in the fold for UNCG after netting 11.1 points per game. The Spartans' top defensive force is also back in junior Janae' Stevenson who pulled down 5.6 rebounds per outing and blocked 38 shots. She is currently fourth on the program's top 10 chart with 74 blocked shots. Palmer will also work with some new faces on the sidelines as Latasha Shipman, Darren Guensch and Latoya Carter have joined the program as assistant coaches while Jade Leitao has assumed Director of Basketball Operations duties.
UNCG begins its 43rd season of women's basketball with the game against Charleston Southern. The Spartans are 20-23 in season openers, including an 8-13 ledger since joining the NCAA Division I ranks. The Blue and Gold fell to Liberty in last season's first contest by a 61-46 score in front of the fifth-largest home crowd in program history (616). Sidnei Harmon scored a team-high eight points and pulled down five rebounds while Jarae Savage had four points and a team-best six rebounds in her collegiate debut.
Saturday's contest marks the 17th meeting between UNCG and Charleston Southern. The Spartans lead the all-time series 14-2 but have lost the last two encounters. The last victory for the Blue and Gold over the Buccaneers occurred on the road Feb. 22, 1997 as UNCG won a 69=61 decision.
The Spartans own a 121-56 record against current members of the Big South Conference. UNCG has faced off against Campbell (11-1), Charleston Southern (14-2), Coastal Carolina (12-6), High Point (11-10), Liberty (14-7), Longwood (15-11), Radford (11-6), UNC Asheville (14-2) and Winthrop (19-11). The Blue and Gold has never met Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian College or VMI.
Charleston Southern was picked to finish in sixth place this season by the Big South Conference's coaches. The Lady Buccaneers are coming off of an 18-15 season, going 9-9 in the Big South Conference and earning the program's second berth into the postseason as CSU qualified for the Women's Basketball Invitational. Charleston Southern will lean on Rachelle Coward and Lakeitha Alston this season as Coward led the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game a season ago and set a program single-game record of nine three-point field goals made in a contest against Liberty. Alston chipped in with 16.1 points per game and needs just 53 points to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career. She led the squad with four double-doubles in 2011-12.
The Lady Buccaneers are led by first-year head coach Fred Applin, who most recently served as an assistant coach at East Carolina University from 2010-12. Applin boasts in impressive resume with experience in the ACC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Conference USA.
UNCG AT A GLANCE
Record: 0-0 (.000) >> Southern Conference Record/Standing (0-0/T-1st) >> Last Five Games: 1-4 (.250) >> Last 10 games: 1-9 (.100) >> Last 15 games: 2-13 (.133) >> Miscellaneous: UNCG plays the 30th game in Palmer's tenure as the Spartans open the season against Charleston Southern. UNCG's all-time record stands at 672-458 (.595).
START THEM EARLY...
Saturday's contest (Nov. 10) marks the earliest in program history. The Spartans played on Nov. 11 last year and to begin the 2007-08 campaign.
Junior Janae' Stevenson is rapidly moving her way up the UNCG career blocked shots list. As a freshman, she swatted 36 shots, the fourth-most in a single season in school history. She did two better with 38 blocked shots last season. With 74 to her credit now, she is fifth in program career history. Stevenson blocked a career-high four shots in UNCG's 55-54 win over Georgia Southern last year. Should she maintain her current pace, Stevenson should easily surpass UNCG's career record of 121 by Rebecca Viverette (1994-98) by the time her career is over.
JUST FINE IN FLEMING...
UNCG has historically been dominant in Fleming Gym, posting a 193-83 (.699) mark at the venue. In 23 years, UNCG has had just four losing seasons in the facility, but they have all come in the last ﬁve years, including this season. Beginning this season, the playing surface has been christened Lynne Agee Court in honor of the former UNCG coach, who retired in March 2011 after 30 years at the helm. The court was ofﬁcially dedicated at halftime of UNCG's Dec. 3 contest against Samford.
UNCG will open the home portion of its schedule Tuesday, Nov. 13 as it welcomes Radford to Fleming Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip.
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