Pirates Open Post Season Against Birmingham-Southern
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - March Madness has begun a week early for the Southwestern women's basketball team as they open post season action at the SCAC Conference Tournament tonight at 6 p.m. against Birmingham-Southern.
Southwestern comes into the game riding a five game winning streak and are the #1 seed in the west while BSC won their last three games, all at home, by an average of 15.7 points and are the #4 seed in the east.
It will be a battle of who can execute their game plan more effectively with the Pirates using a high-scoring, uptempo style to win games while the Panthers prefer more of a half-court set execution style. SU averages 70.2 points per game with five players averaging over five points per game. The Panthers post an average of 65.9 points per game and have a more balanced attack with seven players averaging over five points.
Chelsea Leeder leads SU offensively, averaging 17 points per game. Jordan Owens is close behind with a 14.7 scoring average and Anna Fareed, who has been unstoppable as the regular season has come to a close, is averaging 11.8 points per game. Annie Bourne drops in 8.8 points each outing while Madison Eschle contributes 5.3.
For the Panthers, Caroline King leads with 11.1 points per game, but is followed closely by Alex Adams' 10.6 points. Melanie Short (9.6), Ashton Sprugin (7.7), Kristian Moody (7.6) and Sam Davidson (6.3) will keep the Pirates on their toes defensively, having to keep track of every player on the court. Southwestern is allowing 68.8 points per game, just over Birmingham-Southern's scoring average, but the Panthers hold their opponents to just 59.6 points per game.
Southwestern's quick offensive attack often starts with a defensive rebound and the Pirates have one of the best in the conference in Bourne. Bourne is leading the team and is second in the conference with 10.1 rebounds per game. As a team SU pulls down an average of 43 boards per game, a +3 average rebounding margin over the Panthers.
The teams are comparable in shooting percentage, both from the field and long range, making defense all the more important. Southwestern shoots 38.8 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three-point range while BSC is slightly better at 40.2 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Birmingham-Southern and Southwestern met earlier in the season in Georgetown and Southwestern emerged with the hard-fought win, 75-62. The Pirates opened the game on a 13-0 run and out-rebounded the Panthers 47-36 in the game, a game plan the Pirates will look to repeat tonight.
Game time is set for Friday at 6:00 p.m. and live stats and video are available for those who are unable to make the trip to Birmingham, Ala.