ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team is back in action Thursday night when the Bulldogs host Big South co-leader Presbyterian College at Kimmel Arena starting at 7 p.m.
Thursday night's game will be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee under the multimedia tag at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (2-14, 0-5 BSC) has not played in a week after losing a tough 65-59 loss to league foe Winthrop. The Bulldogs led 48-42 midway through the second half before falling in the final minutes. Kelli Riles led Asheville with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Presbyterian College (10-7, 5-1 BSC) is the surprise of the league so far. The Blue Hose were a preseason pick to finish in eighth place in the Big South's preseason poll. However, PC opened the season with a win at Clemson and won its first five league games before falling to Radford last Saturday. One of its league victories was a 51-49 triumph at defending BSC champ Liberty two weeks ago.
Presbyterian College has won the last four games of the series, including a sweep last year. The Blue Hose edged the Bulldogs, 62-54 in Clinton and then downed Asheville, 62-45 at Kimmel Arena.
"Despite our win loss record our team continues to get better with every opportunity and they amaze me with their excitement and energy right now," stated Bulldog coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "We are fortunate once again to have a chance to defend our home court and we will have to work hard to come out with a victory against the top team in the league. PC is very well coached and one of the hardest working teams we will face all year. It will take an entire team effort to get the win".
Asheville finishes up its three-game homestand on Saturday when the Bulldogs welcome Gardner-Webb to Kimmel Arena for a 2 p.m. start.
UNC Asheville senior forward Kelli Riles enters Thursday's game with 911 career rebounds. She grabbed 11 rebounds last Thursday night against Winthrop and moved into seventh place on the Big South Conference's all-time career list. Kelli needs just five rebounds this evening to move past Radford's Carrie Fertitta who grabbed 715 rebounds during her career. Fifth place isn't far away either as Liberty's Megan Frazee grabbed 951 from 2005-09. Kelli is averaging 9.9 rebounds per game this season and that's third best in the Big South.
Sophomore guard Shonese Jones continues to enjoy an excellent season with her scoring. Jones leads Asheville and is sixth in the Big South Conference in scoring with a 15.1 average. She has scored in double figures in 10 straight games after scoring 16 points against Winthrop last Thursday night. Shonese has a 17.9 scoring average in those 10 contests. She also leads the Bulldogs in three-pointers made (28) and steals (24).
Asheville hopes to snap a 16-game losing streak in Big South Conference play dating back to last season. The Bulldogs last league win was a 74-62 victory over Gardner-Webb on Jan. 21, 2012.
Asheville's last two league losses at home have come by a total of seven points.
The Bulldogs shot a season-high .875 (14-of-16) from the free throw line last week vs. Winthrop.
Kelli Riles has posted five double-doubles on the season. She has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in seven contests.