The Urbana University women’s basketball team aims to get its season back on track this week as it wraps a three-game road swing in conference play.
UU (10-8, 8-6 MEC) travels to Fairmont State (10-10, 5-9 MEC) today for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at Joe Retton Arena, followed by a Saturday afternoon contest at Shepherd (9-11, 5-9 MEC). Both games will feature live steams that can be accessed on UUBlueKnights.com.
Here are some things you need to know heading into this week’s slate of games:
* UU is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time under first-year coach Andrea McCloskey following a 60-52 setback at home to Charleston and 87-74 loss at West Virginia State. UU limited Charleston to only 45 shot attempts, the lowest in any MEC game this season, but allowed the Golden Eagles 20 points on free throws. At WVSU last Saturday, the Blue Knights led by as much as 10 before a big run by the Yellow Jackets before halftime buried UU.
* The Blue Knights have struggled on the road this season with a 3-5 record and three straight losses. The previous two games away from the Grimes Center have seen the Blue Knights drop a nine-point lead at West Liberty and 10-point advantage at West Virginia State. In both of those games, UU surrendered a 30-point quarter to allow the opponent back into the contest.
* With eight games remaining, UU is currently tied for third in the MEC standings with West Liberty and West Virginia State. The Blue Knights will have to play five of their remaining games away from Urbana.
* Through 14 league games, UU ranks third in both team shooting percentage (45 percent) and team shooting percentage defense (41 percent).
* The Blue Knights will look to get back to attacking the offensive glass. UU averaged 15 second-chance points during a five-game stretch following the Holiday Break, but has since averaged only nine second-chance points per game in the previous three outings.
* Senior guard Stefanie Davis is producing a career year with personal bests in points (17.5), assists (5.2) and rebounds (5.8). She ranks second in the league for assists and sixth in scoring, while producing the top two scoring outputs in program history this season. She had 38 points in UU’s home win over West Liberty and followed that up with 37 points and 16 boards (career-high) in UU’s double overtime loss at WLU. In the last meeting against Fairmont State, Davis scored 26 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the free throw line. In the previous game against Shepherd, Davis posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists – the first Blue Knight to record 10 or more assists since the 2011-12 season.
• Two players are nearing the 1,000-point mark for their careers. Davis needs 26 points to become the 15th member of the UU women’s basketball 1,000-point club and has already broken her career-high for points scored in a season. In addition, fellow senior Danie Shafer needs 83 to reach 1,000 combined points after starting her career at Maryville University.
• Davis recently eclipsed the 400-rebound and 300-assist mark, and would become only the third player in UU women’s basketball history with 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 300 assists. She would join former Blue Knights Jamie Myher (‘96-‘99; 1,168 points, 495 assists, 488 rebounds) and DeVonyea Johnson (‘10-‘14; 1,385 points, 501 rebounds, 419 assists).
* Sophomore forward Sylvia Hudson leads UU with four double-doubles on the year, including a 16-point, 10-rebound performance the last time out against West Virginia State. Hudson has now recorded 15 double-doubles in 42 career outings. A highly efficient player, Hudson currently ranks second among NCAA Division II active career leaders in shooting percentage (62.2 percent) and sixth across all NCAA divisions.
* Senior forward Jazmyn Haley recorded her only double-double of the season in the last meeting against Fairmont State with 17 points and 11 boards. Haley had a seven-game streak of scoring in double digits snapped with only two points in two minutes played the last time out.