Opponent: UNC Asheville
Date: February 12, 2019
Time: 7:00 pm
Site: Kimmel Arena (Asheville, N.C.)
TV Broadcast: ESPN+
Live Stats: www.UNCAbulldogs.com
Series: UNCA leads 14-12
Last Meeting: Jan. 29, UNCA won 53-42 in Clinton
Record: 11-11 (6-5 Big South)
Last Game: Feb. 9, 48-49 Loss at Campbell
Head Coach: Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, 7th season
Career Record: 95-119, 7th season
School Record: same
Record: 4-18 (2-9 Big South)
Last Game: Feb. 9, 54-62 Loss vs Winthrop
Head Coach: Alaura Sharp, 1st season
Career Record: 99-81, 6th season
PC Record: 4-18, 1st season
This will be the 27th meeting between Presbyterian College and UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs hold a slight 14-12 advantage in the series and picked up a 52-43 win at the Templeton Center on January 29 of this season. Kacie Hall was the leading scorer with 12 points, while Salina Virola had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs were led by Jessica Wall’s 11 points which came mostly on 3-of-9 shooting from distance.
Presbyterian College leads the Big South in games lost by single digits with nine, including six conference games. Campbell (5 pts), Gardner-Webb (8 pts), Winthrop (3 pts, 8 pts), UNC Asheville (9 pts) and Charleston Southern (8 pts) have all squeaked by PC, while Radford (10 pts) was also within a few possessions.
After the PC’s 70-54 win over USC Upstate (1/12/19), head coach Alaura Sharp has 99 career wins over six seasons as a head coach. She went 83-45 (.648) over four seasons with Garden City Community College and 12-17 (.414) in one season with Lamar Community College.
Presbyterian College ranks 45th nationally and leads the Big South with a 3pt FG percentage of 35.3% (142-402) thanks in part to Kacie Hall (43.1%) and Shamani Stafford (37.3%) who rank 1st and 4th in the Big South.
Presbyterian College has combined for 142 three-pointers across 22 games (6.45 per game) this season which ranks 7th in the program’s DI record books. The team has finished with +200 threes in each of the last three seasons, with the 2017-18 squad setting a program record with 276 threes across 30 games (9.2 per game).
Senior Salina Virola has recorded six double-doubles this season and seven in her career, both of which are program bests. Most recently, she recorded 11 pts/11 rbs against UNC Asheville and 11pts/12 rbs against Charleston Southern. Program greats Dria David, Mariah Pietrowski and Keyonna Allen all finished with 5 career double-doubles with Allen being the only other Blue Hose to record at least three in a single season.
Virola needs two defensive rebounds to surpass Keyonna Allen’s program record of 130 defensive rebounds in a single season (2013-14) and 43 to surpass her single season total of 218 from the same year. The senior currently is averaging a program-best 8.0 rebounds per game through 22 games (176; 47o, 129d).
Junior Kacie Hall scored +10 points in a program-record 17 consecutive games from November 25 - February 5. During that span, the guard averaged 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists in 36.6 minutes to go along with a 39.4% FG and 43.3% 3pt FG. She scored a career-high 30 points in the team’s 71-65 road win at the College of Charleston (12/21/18) to tie the program’s Division I single-game record.
Presbyterian College shot .500 or better from behind the three-point line on four occasions this season: at Tennessee (.545), vs Georgia Southern (.552), at Davidson (.500) and vs Longwood (.615). The team accomplished this feat only three times over the previous two seasons (61 games) and four times over the last four seasons (123 games). Conversely, PC has shot below .300 in 10 games this year, including the last six-straight.
Presbyterian College recorded a season-high 23 assists shooting .500 (23-46) from the floor against Georgia Southern (12/12/18). The team nearly matched it with 21 assists against Longwood (1/8/19) on a season high .519 (28-54) shooting from the floor and .615 (16-26) from behind the arc.
Twice this season, the Blue Hose combined to make a program-record and league-leading 16 three pointers in a single game. The team first went 16-29 (.552) against Georgia Southern (12/12/18) before improving to 16-26 (.615) against Longwood (1/8/19).
This season, PC has improved its rebounding margin (-1.7) after posting its worst margin in the Division I era (-10.2) a year ago.
In their loss to SC State on November 20, PC failed to connect on a three-pointer (going 0-9) snapping a streak of 178 games that dated back to Dec. 11, 2012.
Junior Kacie Hall leads the Big South and ranks 29th nationally connecting on 43.1% of her three-pointers. She also ranks second in the Big South and 39th nationally playing 36.36 minutes per game.
Hall ranks 7th all-time for PC with 147 career three-pointers. She now trails Billie Haskins (2000-04) by three for 6th place and Amanda Mills (2008-11) by six for 5th.
Hall went 11-of-13 from the charity stripe at the CofC to make the most free throws for PC since Mariah Pietrowski (10) at Charleston Southern (2/16/13).
Senior Salina Virola ranks in the program’s top-10 with 440 total rebounds (6th), 133 offensive rebounds (7th) and 307 defensive rebounds (6th) during the Division I era. She trails Shonda Burnside (485), Shonda Burnside (141) and Keyonna Allen (316) to move up those respective lists.
Virola tied a program record by going a perfect 10-for-10 (1.00) from the free throw line against Winthrop (2/9/19). The forward is the seventh player in PC’s Division I era to not miss a free throw while sinking at least seven. The last was Cortney Storey (7-for-7) at Radford on 2/28/17.
Virola has four double-doubles over the last seven games. She recorded consecutive double-doubles against USC Upstate (22 pts, 10 rbs) and Gardner-Webb (11 pts, 11 rbs) as well as against UNC Asheville (11 pts, 11 rbs) and against Charleston Southern (11 pts, 12 rbs).
The senior forward also has double-doubles this season against SC State (14 pts, 12 rbs) and the College of Charleston (20 pts, 15 rbs).
Virola’s 15 rebounds at the College of Charleston (12/21) were the most rebounds for PC since Keyonna Allen pulled down 15 at Xavier on November 26, 2014.
Redshirt junior Ericka Blackwell-Boyden has seven blocks this season and ranks 8th in PC’s Division I era with 27 career blocks. She trails Dria David (2009-13) by one block for seventh.
Freshman Shamani Stafford earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors twice this season (11/12 and 12/17).
Stafford scored a collegiate-best 24 points at Furman (1/2/19) on a season-high 36 minutes.
She led PC with 21 points in 22 minutes off the bench against Georgia Southern. The rookie sank a program-best seven three pointers on 10 attempts and led the team to a program-best total of 16 threes in the game. Stafford also had a season-high three assists and three rebounds while committing zero turnovers.
Stafford started her career on the right foot. The Charlotte, NC, native scored 20 points and was 5-of-5 from behind the arc in the season opener at No. 11 Tennessee.
Freshman Bria Gibbs recorded her first career double-double against SC State (Nov. 20) with a season-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Freshman Trinity Johnson had nine assists against Longwood (1/8/19) and became just the fifth player in PC’s Division I history to accomplish the feat.
Johnson also had 10 points against Longwood, and nearly recorded the team’s first points/assists double-double since Cortney Storey’s 19 points and 10 assists at UNCG on December 15, 2016.
The guard just had a career night against UNC Asheville, scoring 11 points on 5-12 (.417) shooting and pulling down four defensive rebounds.