MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s basketball team will square off against Radford on Wednesday afternoon as a part of the 2013 Big South Conference Basketball Championship, as the Bulldogs enter the tournament as the No. 11 seed while the Highlanders earned the No. 6 seed at the event.
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“We are excited to be in Myrtle Beach for the Big South Conference Tournament,” said Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “The girls have practiced well for the past few days and are ready to see the result of their hard work on the court.”

The Bulldogs enter the contest with an overall record of 2-27, and are looking to snap a 20-game losing streak. 

The Highlanders won the only matchup between the two earlier this season, earning a 66-54 victory on Jan. 3 in Radford, Va. Senior forward Kelli Riles posted a game-best 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while the Highlanders’ Ayana Avery scored a team-high 14 points.

Coach Kirkpatrick knows the matchup with Radford will be a tough one.

“Radford had a good season and have the ability to stay fresh in each game with their depth and athleticism on the perimeter,” added Kirkpatrick. “We will need to take care of the ball and Kelli (Riles) will need to carry our inside presence and rebound well to give us an opportunity to win.”

The Highlanders finished the season with a record of 14-13.


• UNC Asheville senior forward Kelli Riles reached 1,000 rebounds for her career against High Point on Feb. 14, before reaching 1,000 career points against Campbell on Feb. 16. She now has 1,032 points and 1,034 rebounds. 

• Riles is now in third place in Big South history in rebounds, passing former Liberty great Katie Feenstra, who amassed 1, 032 rebounds in her career. 

• UNC Asheville has not won a tournament game since the 2007 season, when the Bulldogs won three in a row to win the Big South Conference Championship. The Bulldogs defeated the Highlanders 67-57 to win the title, before falling to LSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

• RU leads the all-time series 44-17 after taking the last three outings with the Bulldogs. The Highlanders and Bulldogs have met eight times in the conference tournament, with RU holding a 5-3 advantage.

• The last time these two teams met in the postseason was March 14, 2008 when Radford outlasted the Bulldogs, 72-64, in double overtime in Asheville. 

• Asheville’s last victory over the Highlanders came during the 2010-11 season, when the Bulldogs earned a 70-60 win at Radford on Feb. 5. Kelli Riles recorded 22 rebounds and 18 points in the contest.

• The Bulldogs fell at Winthrop, 100-56, in the final regular season contest of the season for both teams. Senior Gentry Manley led the Bulldogs in scoring with 20 points and rebounds with nine.