From Arkansas State University
The Arkansas State women's basketball team (14-13, 7-7) will take on the Mean Green of North Texas (5-21, 2-11) Feb. 23 in the first of two home games that will serve as the finale for the 2010-11 regular season. With a win against North Texas, Arkansas State head coach Brian Boyer will tie former ASU women's head coach Jerry Ann Winters with 196 career victories - the most for any women's or men's head basketball coach in ASU history. Tipoff for Wednesday night's Sun Belt Conference West Division matchup is set for 7:05 p.m. at the ASU Convocation Center. All Arkansas State women's basketball games may be heard on KWHF 95.9 FM "The Wolf" and through the StateZone portion of AStateRedWolves.com. LiveStats will also be available at AStateRedWolves.com and video is available through the StateZone for all home games and select road games.
THE OPPONENT: North Texas will carry a 5-21 record into Wednesday's contest, a slate that includes a 2-11 mark against Sun Belt Conference competition. North Texas is 1-13 on the season when playing on the road, 4-6 on the year when playing at The Super Pit in Denton and 0-2 on a neutral court. The Mean Green have lost seven straight heading into Wednesday's game against ASU. North Texas is led in scoring by senior guard Denetra Kellum, who averages 16.5 points per game, along with 7.8 rebounds. Sophomore forward Jasmine Godbolt is second in scoring at 13.4 points per game and leads the team on the boards, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Kasondra Foreman has a team-high 89 assists and 36 steals on the year. As a team, the Mean Green are shooting .382 from the field, .278 from behind the three-point line and .620 from the free throw line.
THE NORTH TEXAS SERIES: Arkansas State owns an 18-8 advantage in the all-time series with North Texas. The Red Wolves have won the last three matchups with the Mean Green and 13 of the last 15. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, A-State handed North Texas a 62-59 overtime loss in Denton Jan. 22. ASU holds a 7-5 advantage in games played in Denton, including victories in each of the last four games played on the Mean Green's home court. Arkansas State holds a 10-3 advantage in games played in Jonesboro and a 1-0 advantage in the only contest played on a neutral court.
THE COACHES: Arkansas State head coach Brian Boyer is in his 12th season at the helm of the Red Wolves program. He holds a record of 194-166 and has directed A-State to the Women's National Invitation Tournament four times. Boyer is assisted by Tanya Ray, Jennifer Sullivan and Leslie Larsen. Third-year coach Shanice Stephens stands at 25-63 as head coach of the Mean Green.
HURST NAMED SBC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Arkansas State junior guard NeNe Hurst has earned Sun Belt Conference women's basketball Player of the Week honors for her efforts in Arkansas State's road victories against Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy last week, the league announced Monday morning. The Red Wolves defeated ULL 66-44 Feb. 16 before picking up an 83-69 overtime victory at Troy Feb. 19.
Hurst scored in double figures in both games, including a career-high 28 points in the Red Wolves' win at Troy. Against Troy, Hurst's 28 points were the most scored by any ASU player this season, and she also added nine rebounds, a pair of assists and four steals while playing the full 45 minutes.
For the week, Hurst averaged 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals in ASU's two games. In the two games combined, she connected on 15-of-27 field goals (.556), 3-of-7 three pointers (.429) and 10-of-14 free throws (.714). She also added a pair of blocked shots in the Red Wolves' win at ULL.
"NeNe had a tremendous week in all aspects of both games last week," said ASU head coach Brian Boyer. "She not only had a good week of scoring, but she had a very good week rebounding and a strong week defensively. It was a good week for us as a team to get two road wins and NeNe was a huge part of both of those wins."
She is the Sun Belt Conference leader in steals, averaging 2.5 per game, and her 2.7 assists per game rank 14th in the league. Her steals average ranks 77th nationally, and she is ranked in the top 11 at ASU all-time in blocked shots, assists and steals. She is 67 points away from becoming the 19th player in ASU women's basketball history to reach 1,000 points in her career.