HIGH POINT, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team will begin play in the 2011 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Women's Basketball Championship on Friday when the sixth-seeded Bulldogs take on the third-seeded Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs at High Point's Millis Center starting at 7:30 p.m.
Friday's game will broadcast on ESPN Radio (1310-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 7 p.m. and tip-off at 7:30 p.m. The game will also be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee at www.uncabulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs (12-17, 5-11 BSC) have improved from last season's 8-22 campaign. Asheville was a preseason pick to finish in last place but finished in a tie for sixth with Winthrop but earned the sixth seed with a victory over Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs played the Runnin' Bulldogs tough during the season, winning 60-59 at Gardner-Webb on Jan. 29 and losing a close 68-65 decision at Justice Center on Feb. 14.
"Gardner-Webb has a good basketball team, but we had two good games this them this year," commented Asheville coach Betsy Blose. "We're going to have to play even better against them on Friday to have a chance at winning.
"We've improved from last year but we're not quite where we want to be," added Blose. "We have got to be more consistent and must improve defensively. There have been games where our defense has been great, like when we beat Gardner-Webb earlier this year but then we gave up 106 points to High Point on Sunday. We just need to be more consistent, not just on defense but in all phases of the game."
Kendall Shepard leads Asheville in scoring with a 14.8 average, while Lindsey Montgomery has a 13.0 average. Lindsey Thompson and Kelli Riles both have 11.0 points per game averages. Riles tops the club with a 10.5 rebounding average.
Gardner-Webb is led by guard Monique Hudson with a 13.3 scoring average.
NOTING THE BULLDOGS
UNC Asheville is 7-7 in away games this year.
The Bulldogs have lost their last three games in Big South Tournament play. Asheville has not won a tournament game since a 68-58 victory over Radford in the Big South Conference championship game.
Head Coach Betsy Blose is 5-7 in Big South Tournament play. Each time she has won a game in tournament play, the Bulldogs have gotten to the championship game as they did in 2005 and 2007.
Kendall Shepard is third in the Big South in scoring with a 14.8 average. She leads the league in free throw percentage at 78 percent and is fifth in assists with a 3.4 per game mark.
Kelli Riles is second in the Big South Conference in rebounding with a 10.5 average. Lindsey Montgomery is third at 8.4 per game.