Women's Basketball Set for Big South Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team (19-10, 14-4 Big South) makes its first-ever trip to the Big South postseason when the Blue Hose play in the quarterfinals of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship on Friday at 2 p.m. Third-seeded PC will play No. 6 Radford.
Eric Thacker will provide free live game audio on GoBlueHose.com.
PC holds a 19-26 all-time postseason record and, since moving from Division II, has not played in the postseason since 2006-07. The Blue Hose have not won a postseason game since a 71-67 win over Catawba in the 2001-02 South Atlantic Tournament. A win in Conway would snap a seven-game losing streak after the regular season.
PC earned three Big South Conference honors on Monday, led by head coach Ronny Fisher earning the Coach of the Year award as voted by the League’s head coaches and media panel. Karlee Taylor was also voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the League’s sports information directors and Mariah Pietrowski was selected to the All-Big South Conference Second Team.
PC will meet Radford. The Blue Hose took a 57-40 win over Radford on February 28 after falling to the Highlanders 49-31 on January 12. Ashley Buckhannon leads Radford (9-9 in league play) in scoring at 13.3 points per game.
Head coach Ronny Fisher’s 51th career win on Saturday (31th win in the Big South) moved him closer to second place in the PC record books. Ranking third in program history, he stands 22 away from by both Randy Randall and Byron Rucker in second. Fisher, in his fifth year at the helm, set the school record for wins in the Division-I era (19) and Big South wins (14) this season.
The team’s current six-game winning streak marks the program’s longest since the 2005-06 season and its longest such streak while playing in the Big South Conference.
In the last five games, Karlee Taylor leads the Blue Hose with 17.4 points while averaging 4.2 three-pointers per game. Mariah Pietrowski adds 16.2 and 7.8 rebounds per game, one of four players along with Taylor who average in double figures. PC is also shooting 51.3 percent as a team (118-230).
PC won its regular season finale on Saturday at Longwood, 76-72, holding off a surging Lancers squad that crept to within one with seven seconds left. Dria David set a new Division I-era record (since 2007-08) by dishing out 11 assists in the win and scored 14 points with her 11 assists to posted her fifth career double-double and second this season, both against Longwood. Karlee Taylor led PC with a career-high 22 points thanks in part to five three-pointers while Mariah Pietrowski added 19 points on a 9-for-14 shooting performance.
The Blue Hose rank third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage behind only Penn State and Duke, knocking down treys 38.5 percent of the time. Guards Karlee Taylor (48.5 percent) ranks second in the country behind UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Taylor and Kasey Hobbie (42.6 percent) currently hold the first and second-best three-point shooting percentages in a PC Division I season, respectively.
The Blue Hose have allowed an opponent to shoot over 40 percent only twice out of the last 10 games. PC boasts an 18-2 record when opponents shoot under 40 percent, which included all of the team’s wins this season before PC beat High Point on February 23, who shot 40.3 percent.
PC has tallied 10 or more assists in 25 games and enters the week with a 19-6 record when doing so. The team also enjoys a 17-3 record when scoring 50 or more points and a 15-0 record when leading at halftime.
Mariah Pietrowski was named to the All-Big South Conference Second Team on Monday. The senior center is one of seven players in PC history with 1,200 points and 600 rebounds. Pietrowski holds the school’s Division I records in scoring, scoring average, rebounds, field goals made, field goals attempted and field goal percentage. The Division I career leader in boards, she stands as the first player in the Division I era to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. She enters the week 16 rebounds shy of Toni Leopard (1999-2002) in fifth all-time at PC and 23 points shy of Tracy Woody (1998-01) in eighth in scoring.
Karlee Taylor was named the Big South’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Monday. Taylor boasts a 3.73 grade point average as a mathematics major and a secondary education minor. A two-time member of the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll, the guard earned a spot on the 2011-12 All-Academic Team as well.
Senior forward Shonda Burnside blocked two shots on Saturday, moving her within five of Jennifer Mims’ (1992-96) fourth-place mark of 101 in program history. Burnside is also shooting at a .440 clip from the floor (107-243) this season, 85 points better than her previous career-best as a freshman, has set career-bests in scoring (8.3 points per game), minutes (22.3), field goal percentage, rebounds (5.1), assists (41), blocks (31) and steals (20).
Senior guard Dria David grabbed a steal against Radford on January 12, moving her into sole possession of fifth place in program history, passing Barbara Frady’s mark (1981-85) of 204. She now stands 19 behind Melanie Johnson (1991-95) in fourth place with 242 steals. David has made good use of the ball, tallying 330 assists–113 this season– to move her into eigth place in all-time at PC and 20 away from seventh.