ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team returns to Kimmel Arena on Saturday when the Bulldogs host High Point in Big South Conference action starting at 2 p.m.
Saturday's game will be broadcast locally on WPEK Radio (880-AM) and be video-streamed at www.uncabulldogs.com under the multimedia tag.
Asheville (2-10, 0-1 BSC) played last week at the Hatter Classic at Stetson and fell twice. The Bulldogs lost to Bethune-Cookman, 74-57 last Tuesday (Dec. 18) and Stetson the following day, 74-47.
"We are excited to return to conference play at home vs. High Point," stated first-year Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "Our team has matured a tremendous amount since the beginning of the season. We are working hard every day on our consistency and toughness on both ends of the court."
The Panthers are 6-6 on the season and 0-1 in Big South Conference action. High Point edged Mercer in its last game before Christmas, 62-57.
"High Point has a tremendous inside presence and is solid at every position," added Kirkpatrick. "We will need to establish our own paint presence and be determined not to give up easy opportunities when we are on the defensive side of the ball. It will be a great game."
Sophomore guard Shonese Jones leads the Bulldogs in scoring with a 14.2 average. She earned All-Tournament honors at the Hatter Classic with her play. Jones has scored in double figures in six consecutive games. Senior forward Gentry Manley is averaging 9.2 points per game, while senior center Kelli Riles is at 8.3 points per outing. Riles leads Asheville in rebounding with a 10.7 mark. Her 10.7 mark is second best in the Big South.
Cheyene Parker leads the way for High Point. She's averaging a double-double with a 17.8 scoring and 14.5 rebounding marks. Parker scored 31 points against Mercer on Dec. 21. Her 14.5 rebounds per game average lead the Big South.
Asheville is on the road after Saturday's game with High Point. The Bulldogs travel to Radford on Jan. 3 and Liberty on Jan. 5. Kirkpatrick's club will be back at Kimmel Arena again on Jan. 10 vs. Winthrop.
- 1. Kelli Riles could move into third place this afternoon all-time at UNC Asheville for career rebounds. She enters today's game with 880 career rebounds and is in fourth place on Asheville's career list. Riles needs just nine rebounds today to move past Kim Duncan (888) into third place on the school's career list. Next up for Kelli after she passes Duncan will be second place and Wendy Beecher's 894 rebounds. She needs 15 to pass Beecher and become the school's Division I all-time leader in rebounds. Beecher has held that mark since 1990.
- 2. High Point has won the last seven meeting between the teams. The Panthers won last year's games, 89-49 at the Millis Center and 74-56 at Kimmel Arena. Asheville's last win in the series came on Feb. 21, 2009 when the Bulldogs downed High Point, 68-59 at Justice Center.
- 3. Shonese Jones has scored in double figures in 15 of her last 16 Big South Conference games. She tallied 23 points in the league-opener against Campbell back on Dec. 1.
- 4. The Bulldogs are playing much better defense than they did last season. Asheville enters today's game giving up 67.1 points per game, compared to last year's 74.8 average. Take away a loss at national power UNC Chapel Hill this year when the Bulldogs gave up 101 points and the average drops to 64 points per contest.