February 19, 2014

Emory Women's Basketball Hosts NYU & Brandeis In Final Two Regular Season Home Games

GAME FACTS – The Emory women's basketball team will play its final two home games of the regular season this weekend when it hosts New York University on Friday (Feb. 21) in a 6:00 pm tip before entertaining Brandeis on Sunday in a 2:00 scheduled start.  Sunday's contest against the Judges will be Senior Day with the women's basketball program and athletics department recognizing the contributions of Lauren Ball, Selena Castillo, Hannah Lilly, Savannah Morgan, Marissa Resnick and Gabi Whitmer in a pre-game ceremony.

THE COACHES – Emory Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty (Tulane, '96) is in her 11th season in charge of the Eagles.  She assumed her current duties prior to the start of the 2003-04 campaign and owns a school and career mark of 147-128.  Thomaskutty has guided the Eagles to three consecutive winning campaigns, the program's longest streak since an eight-year run starting in 1992-93 through 1999-2000.

In 2012-13, Thomaskutty directed the program to an overall record of 24-4, and its first-ever UAA title (12-2).  Emory earned the school's first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1997, advancing to the third round.  For her efforts, Thomaskutty and her staff were recognized as the UAA Coaches of the Year. In addition, she was recognized by D3hoops.com as the South Region Coach of the Year.  

In her second year as the head coach of the NYU program is Lauren Hall-Gregory (Hofstra, '03).  Hall-Gregory will take a school and career record of 28-19 into Friday's contest.  Prior to her current post, Hall-Gregory spent four years as an assistant at Division I member Sacred Heart University (CT). 

Carol Simon (Colby, '85) is in her 27th season calling the shots at Brandeis University.  During her tenure with the Judges, she has compiled 380 victories including a 183-98 slate over the past 10 seasons.

2013-14 RECORDS – Emory hosts the Violets of NYU with an overall record of 16-6, including a 5-6 slate in UAA action.    The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak last Friday when they claimed an 87-76 decision at Carnegie Mellon before coming up short at Case Western on Sunday, 67-62.

Emory is 8-1 in home games and 8-5 in road/neutral contests.   The Eagles are ranked 39th nationally in this week's BennettRank Poll.  For more information on BennettRank, go to:  http://bennettrankbasketball.com/

NYU visits the Woodruff PE Center with an overall mark of 18-4, with its 7-4 UAA slate good for sole possession of third place.   The Violets are coming off a pair of road losses last weekend, 73-57 to Chicago and 73-46 to Washington University.

Brandeis heads into a Friday encounter at Rochester with a 12-10 ledger in overall play, 6-5 in the UAA.  The Judges saw a six-game win streak snapped last Friday when they lost at Wash U, 61-51, before closing out the weekend with a 85-72 setback to Chicago.   Brandeis starts play this weekend with a 5-3 showing in road/neutral contests.

SERIES RECORDS – NYU claims a 36-14 edge in the series with Emory that saw the first game played in January of 1989.   Earlier this season (Jan. 24), the Violets ended a four-game losing streak to Emory when they came away with a 77-71 victory at the Coles Center on the NYU campus.   NYU is 15-10 vs. Emory in games played in Atlanta.

Emory checks in with a 27-23 all-time mark against Brandeis with the series having its origins in January of 1989.  The teams met earlier this year in Waltham, Mass., where the Judges notched a 65-61 triumph, snapping Emory's five-game win streak in the series.  The Eagles stand 15-10 vs. BU in games played in Atlanta, and have won the last three meetings at the Woodruff PE Center.

EMORY DUO TO SERVE AS CAPTAINS – Serving as captains of the 2013-14 Emory women's basketball team are seniors Savannah Morgan (San Jose, CA) and Hannah Lilly (Mercer Island, WA).  

EMORY BENCH CONTRIBUTES – The Emory bench contributed significantly in last weekend's contests, with the reserves totaling 32 of the team's 87 points vs. Carnegie Mellon and 29 of the 62 against Case Western.

Freshman Fran Sweeney (Norristown, PA) and sophomore Ilene Tsao (Fremont, CA) combined for 21 points off the bench vs. CMU with Sweeney totaling 12 points on the strength of a season-high four three-point field goals while Tsao chipped in nine points along with a team-high tying six rebounds.  Senior Marissa Resnick (Jericho, NY) came through with her second double-figure scoring effort of the year, tying for the team lead with 10 points off the bench vs. Case, while Sweeney contributed eight points.

So far this year, Emory reserves have scored 30 or more points on eight occasions. 

STEALS LEADING TO POINTS –  Emory closed out last weekend with 22 steals, nine vs. Carnegie Mellon and 13 against Case Western.  The Eagles have come up with 10 or more steals in 18 games this year, and they lead the UAA and rank 14th nationally in that category with a 14.0 per-game average.   Emory boasts three of the UAA's top five performers in steals led by Selena Castillo's (Tampa, FL) league-leading mark of 3.2 per game.  Savannah Morgan holds down No. 3 position with a 2.5 per-game average while sophomore Khadijah Sayyid (Longmont, CO) is fifth (2.1 spg). 

Emory's 22 thefts in the two games helped account for 55 opponent turnovers, which in turn led to Emory generating 47 points.  After 22 outings, Emory enjoys a 563-237 advantage in the points off turnovers category (25.6 ppg vs. 10.8 ppg).  

With three games left in the regular season, the Eagles' 308 steals already ranks second on the school's seasonal list.   The season record is 405 set by the 2012-13 club.

SWEENEY MAKES MOST OF MINUTES – Fran Sweeney is making the most of her increased playing time, logging a season-high 27 minutes against Carnegie Mellon before finishing with 23 minutes of action in the Case Western contest, her seventh consecutive outing of 20 or more minutes. 

Sweeney was one of four Emory double-figure scorers in the CMU game, registering 12 points (second double-figure scoring effort of the season), while closing out the CWRU affair with eight points, hitting three-of-seven from the floor including a pair of three-point field goals.  Sweeney is averaging 23.7 minutes and 7.5 points over the squad's last six games and starts the weekend with three-point field goals to her credit in six of her last seven appearances.

WHITMER A SOLID CONTRIBUTOR – Senior Gabi Whitmer (Pittsburgh, PA) finished the Case Western game with a team-high tying 10 points, her fourth double-figure scoring effort of the year, hitting five-of-10 field goal attempts, while pulling down seven rebounds, second high on the squad.

A starter in six of 11 league contests, Whitmer has emerged as one of the team's consistent performers, averaging 7.3 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game with that mark good for 12th place among UAA players.  She has pulled down 40 offensive rebounds in conference play and her 3.6 per-game effort on that end of the floor is second on the UAA ladder.  In addition, she is shooting a team-leading 53.2 percent (33-of-62) from the floor in conference games, good for the No. 5 position on the UAA chart.

Against Chicago back on Feb. 7, Whitmer recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 points (second highest career total) and a game-high tying 11 rebounds against Chicago, with that mark the second highest by an Emory player this season.   She followed that contest by totaling eight points and four rebounds vs. WU in 16 minutes of action.  She sank a pair of three-point field goals against the Bears, marking her first career triples in an Emory uniform.
 

KANIUT PICKS UP OFFENSIVE PACE – Freshman Shellie Kaniut (Vienna, VA) recorded her third straight double-figure scoring game (longest streak of the season) when she totaled 15 points, second high on the team,  sinking five-of-seven from the field, including a pair of treys in four tries, in the victory over Carnegie Mellon.  It represented her eighth double-digit effort of the season, four of which have come during UAA play.

Over her last four outings, she is averaging 12.0 points and shooting 51.5 percent (17-of-33) from the floor and 78.5 percent (11-of-14) from the charity stripe.

MORGAN DIRECTS EMORY ATTACK--  Heading into the NYU contest, Savannah Morgan  continues to pace the squad in both scoring and assists. Morgan's 14.3 points-per-game average in overall play is fourth among UAA players, while her 5.5 assists average is good for the top spot on the league ladder and 19th nationally in NCAA stats released on Monday (Feb. 17).

Morgan produced a team-high 20 points, the eighth time this season she led the club in scoring, sinking seven-of-11 from the floor, including three treys, in the 87-76 win over Carnegie Mellon.  She also dished out seven assists and had just one turnover on 30 minutes of action.   She then finished with eight assists, tying her second-highest mark of the year, and chipped in three steals in the Case Western game.

Entering this weekend's home stand, Morgan has totaled 121 assists in 2013-14, good for fifth place on Emory's seasonal chart,  while her 5.5 per-game average is the second highest in school history, second to her No. 1 mark of 5.7 set during the 2011-12 campaign.   She has eight contests of seven or more assists this year.

Morgan is among the conference's top 10 performers in a total of eight categories including free throw percentage (7th, .750), steals (3rd, 2.5 spg), three-point field goal percentage (8th, .363), assist/turnover ratio (1st, 2.5, 13th nationally), minutes (2nd, 31.5 mpg) and three pointers per game (9th, 1.3 tpg).

Morgan has come up with 17 double-figure scoring performances and has six outings of 20 or more points this year. 

Career-wise, Morgan ranks eighth in career scoring at Emory with 1,093 points.  She became the ninth player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when she finished with 14 points in the Brandeis contest (Jan. 26).   She stands as the school's all-time leader with 512 assists and is fourth in career steals with 196.  

LILLY'S CAREER COMES TO AN ENDHannah Lilly saw her season and career come to an untimely end when she suffered a knee injury in the second half of the Wash U game played at Emory on Feb. 9.   Lilly had scored at a 13.5 per-game clip this year with that mark good for the No. 7 position on the league ladder.

A double-figure scorer in 70 career contests, Lilly holds down fourth place on Emory's all-time scoring list with 1,302 points.  Her 46 treys this year  boosted her career total to 221, good for the No. 2 position on the school's all-time list behind only Mandy Jackson's ('91-95) top mark of 243.  She was a First Team All-UAA selection as a sophomore and junior after garnering second-team recognition her freshman year.  In addition, she was a Honorable Mention All-American in 2011-12.

CASTILLO TOPS UAA IN STEALSSelena Castillo continues to lead the UAA while ranking 26th among D-III players in steals with a 3.23 per-game average with that mark currently good for the No. 1 spot on the Eagles' seasonal ladder. 

Castillo starts play this weekend with 13 outings of three or more thefts this year, and her 71 steals are third on the Eagles' seasonal ladder while her 217 career thefts are second all-time at the school.  Holding down the No. 1 spot on that list is Amy Carter (1993-97) with 217.  

NOTES –  Emory has led by double figures at halftime this year on eight occasions … The Eagles have held the opposition to 20 or fewer points in six halves this season … Savannah Morgan's three steals against Case Western represented her 15th game of the year with multiple thefts … Khadijah Sayyid recorded seven steals against Chicago (Feb. 7), her second-highest career total and 10th multiple-theft game of this year … Emory tops the UAA and is No. 2 nationally in turnover margin (12.45) … Marissa Resnick's two three pointers against Case was her fourth contest this year with two or more triples … 

Emory has outshot the opposition from three-point range in seven of 11 league contests and stands 3rd in the UAA in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing,  surrendering 29.6 percent (48-of-162) from beyond the arc … Emory knocked down 12 three pointers in the Carnegie Mellon game, a season for a league contest and the fourth time this year that it finished in double figures in that department … Emory has grabbed 12 or more offensive boards in 20 games … The Eagles are outpointing the opposition by a 74.2-62.8 margin in the nine games that have been played at the Woodruff PE Center … In road/neutral venues, the Eagles hold a 71.9-63.0 per-game scoring advantage …  The Eagles have turned the ball over fewer times than their opposition in all 22 games … Emory has 10 double-digit victories to its credit and its +10.0 scoring margin is third in the conference … The Eagles are snaring 16.0 offensive caroms per contest vs. 11.7 for opponents … Opponents have attempted more free throws than Emory in 16 games this year … The Eagles have outscored the opposition in 25 of 44 halves … Emory has won 16 of its last 17 and 32 of its last 36 home games … Emory is averaging 35.2 points during the first half of play (29.2 for the opposition) and 37.2 over the final 20 minutes of action (33.3 for the opposition) … The Eagles have won their last 15 and are 39-4 during Thomaskutty's tenure as head coach when scoring 80 or more points (5-0 in 2013-14, 7-0 in 2012-13 … Emory has trailed at halftime on three occasions this year (36-31 vs. Salem, 37-30 vs. Maryville and 38-28 vs. Piedmont) but have bounced back to win …  Emory's come-from-behind win at Piedmont on Dec. 31 represented the first time since Jan. 24, 2010, that an Eagle team had rallied to win after facing a double-digit halftime deficit.  Emory trailed Piedmont by a 38-28 margin before earning a 73-70 victory.  In the 2010 game at Brandeis, the Eagles trailed by a 35-24 margin at the break before finishing with a 73-65 decision … Emory set a school record with 14 three-point field goals in the LaGrange contest (Nov. 26), topping the 13 triples the Eagles converted against Brandeis on Jan. 15, 2012.