Spartans host Winston-Salem State for exhibition Saturday
UNCG vs. Winston-Salem State, Nov. 6, 2 p.m., Fleming Gym, exhibition
Admission: Free (Saturday only)
- UNCG's women's basketball team will host Winston-Salem State for its lone exhibition of the 2010-11 season on Saturday at Fleming Gym. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. and admission is free.
- UNCG and WSSU have never met in women's basketball.
- The Spartans went 10-20 overall last year and 6-14 in the Southern Conference to tie for seventh. UNCG won three of its last four games of the season, advancing to the quarterfinals of the SoCon Championship for the sixth straight season before falling to eventual champion Chattanooga.
- UNCG returns three starters from last year's squad in seniors Amanda Leigh, Monique Floyd and Kendra Smith, who will serve as the Spartans' captains this year. Leigh was the Spartans' second-leading scorer on the season, as she averaged a career-best 10.6 points per game. Floyd scored 8.5 points per game and averaged career bests in rebounds and steals (4.0 and 1.8 per game, respectively), while Smith averaged 6.6 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game, both career highs.
- The Spartans lost a pair of starters from last year to graduation. Guard Lakiah Hyson was UNCG's leading scorer and rebounder at 11.5 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game and finished her career with 198 career steals, good for seventh on UNCG's career list. Center Agne Girstautaite wrapped up her career second in school history in blocked shots with 108.
- UNCG coach Lynne Agee enters the season with a career record of 589-318, putting her just 11 wins shy of 600 for her career. Now in her 30th year leading the Spartans, she has put together a 543-295 record at UNCG. Agee is 20th all-time among NCAA Division I in career wins and 12th among active coaches.
- UNCG gets guards Dayshaun Richbow and Natalie Headley back from knee injuries this year. Richbow, a sophomore, played in 19 games last year before a knee injury shut her down for the season, while Headley redshirted her freshman campaign with a knee injury that occurred before she arrived on campus.
- Leigh enters this season with a shot at setting the school record for career 3-pointers in just three seasons on the squad. Despite transferring from Winthrop after her freshman season, Leigh has vaulted up to sixth in school history with 112 3s in just two seasons in a UNCG uniform. The school record of 193 was set by Jasmine Byrd from 2003-07, meaning Leigh, who hit 67 3-pointers last season, is just 81 back of Byrd's mark.
- Floyd could become just the 22nd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points this season. The Fairmont, N.C., native enters the 2010-11 campaign with 712 for her career, leaving her just 288 points shy of reaching the milestone. Floyd scored 292 points as a sophomore and 255 as a junior, meaning the mark is well within reach.
- Leigh has a shot at 1,000 points, as well, as she enters this season with 538 in her two years at UNCG. With 29 games definitely on the schedule (and perhaps more depending on how the Spartans fare at the SoCon Championship), Leigh would need to average just under 16 points per game for the season to hit the mark. Factoring in her freshman year at Winthrop, Leigh has scored 595 career points total.
- One of UNCG's greats has returned to the fold this season. ChoRhonda Gwaltney, who starred at point guard for the Spartans from 1997-2001, joined Agee's staff as an assistant coach this summer. Gwaltney spent the last two years as an assistant at Campbell, and was on the staff at Saint Paul's College in Virginia for the four years prior to that. Gwaltney is the seventh-leading scorer in UNCG history, as she finished her career with 1,252 points. She is also fifth on the Spartans' career assists list with 420 and was a three-time All-SoCon selection.
- The addition of Gwaltney to the UNCG coaching staff means all three of Agee's assistants played for her. Associate head coach Carol Peschel, who is entering her 27th on the UNCG staff, played for Agee at Roanoke College and transferred to UNCG for her senior season (1981-82), Agee's first at the helm for the Spartans. Peschel helped UNCG to the NCAA Division III championship game and was the Spartans'f first-ever All-American. Assistant coach KaLeah Latham played for Agee from 2003-07, leading the team in rebounding for three straight seasons and helping the Spartans to the SoCon title game as a junior in 2005-06.
- UNCG won its lone exhibition game last season, topping Catawba 79-55.
- Winston-Salem State played as a DI team for the last five years, but has dropped back down to Division II and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA). WSSU was a member of the CIAA for 61 years before making the jump to DI, and rejoined the league at the beginning of this academic year.
- The Lady Rams opened the 2009-10 season 2-2, but lost their last 26 games to finish 2-28. WSSU is getting a fresh start as it rejoins the CIAA, with new coach Stephen Joyner Jr. at the helm.
- Winston-Salem State participated in UNCG's Airport Marriott Thanksgiving Classic in 2008, but did not face the Spartans.
- There is at least one familiar face on WSSU's roster, as the Lady Rams have added Elon transfer Courtney Medley, a junior, this season. In two games against the Spartans last season, Medley averaged 11.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. Her best effort was in UNCG's 84-70 win over the Phoenix in Greensboro on Jan. 13, when she scored 15 points and had five boards in the losing effort. WSSU also has a transfer from 2009-10 UNCG opponent N.C. Central on its roster, but Jasmine Newkirk did not play for the Lady Eagles last season.
- WSSU returns its leading scorer and rebounder from last season in senior forward Vontisha Woods, who averaged 9.8 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior. Senior guard Rene Rector, who was the Lady Rams' third-leading scorer at 8.5 points per game, also returns. Junior guard Porsche Harrell paced WSSU with 3.4 assists per game.
- The Lady Rams were picked fourth in the CIAA Southern Division in the league's preseason poll. Woods was a preseason All-CIAA pick.
- UNCG opens the regular season at Clemson on Friday, Nov. 12. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. The Spartans open home play on Monday, Nov. 15, against UNC Wilmington at 7 p.m.
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