ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team gets back in action this week when the Bulldogs travel to the Hatter Classic at Stetson University on Tuesday and Wednesday. Asheville faces Bethune-Cookman Tuesday at 3 p.m., followed by a game with Stetson Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Both games will be audio-streamed and can be heard under the multimedia tag at www.uncabulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs (2-8) lost to Kennesaw State at home on Thursday night, 71-62. The Owls built an 18-point lead before Asheville made a frantic comeback but fell just short. Shonese Jones led the Bulldogs with 22 points, while Kelli Riles added 13 points and 19 rebounds.
"After evaluating our performance against Kennesaw State on Thursday night we have some adjustments to make before traveling to Florida for the Hatter Classic," stated first-year Bulldog coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "We are making strides offensively but need to work on our defensive awareness and communication to put ourselves in position to win games down the stretch. We are a team that needs to focus on the details of the game and make solid plays throughout.
"It is always positive to have the opportunity to play back to back games in a tournament format during the season to give our kids a chance to prepare for what it will feel like in March," added Kirkpatrick. "Bethune-Cookman is our first opponent in the Hatter Classic and their athleticism and aggressive play will pose a challenge for us. We will need to take care of the ball and execute on the offensive end and improve our defensive presence in order to win."
This will be the first meeting ever between UNC Asheville and Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats are 3-5 on the season after they defeated Edward Waters, 88-46 Tuesday night.
Asheville will also face Stetson for the first time. The Hatters are 5-4 on the year after winning at Florida Atlantic on Saturday, 78-66.
The Bulldogs are being led in scoring this year by sophomore guard Shonese Jones with a 14.4 scoring average. Senior center Kelli Riles is averaging 11.4 rebounds per game. Her 11.4 mark is second best in the Big South Conference.
After playing in the tournament, Asheville will have a few days off for Christmas. The Bulldogs first game after the holidays will be at Kimmel Arena when they host High Point on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m.
- 1. Shonese Jones has scored in double figures in four straight games and scored at least 21 points in three of those contests. Her scoring average for those four games is 20.5.
- 2. Kelli Riles has 866 career rebounds and is in fourth place on Asheville's career list. She needs just 23 rebounds to move past Kim Duncan into third place. Riles has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in five different contests this season.
- 3. The Bulldogs have out-rebounded their last three opponents.
- 4. Asheville has made 25 three-pointers in the last four games for a 6.25 per game average.
- 5. This is the Bulldogs first game in the state of Florida since playing in the Gator Invitational at the University of Florida in December, 2007. Asheville lost to Alabama A&M and Holy Cross in the tournament. Ironically, Bulldog coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick was an assistant at Florida during that tournament.