Lady Pirates Lose At Rice, 77-74
Jan. 17, 2010
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina women's basketball team lost for the first time in six contests, falling 77-74 to Rice Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Lady Pirates are now 15-3 overall and 4-1 in league play while the Owls improve to 8-9 and 2-2 in conference action.
Rice came out the aggressors in the first four minutes, staking out to an 11-4 lead by hitting five of its first ten shots. Morgan Mayse then asserted herself, scoring five points as part of an 12-9 run that made the score 23-13 at the 11:51 mark.
ECU pushed back, using an 8-2 run to pull within four, but Megan Elliott drained a three to put the Owl lead back at seven with 7:57 remaining in the half. The Lady Pirates cut the deficit to four once again when Kelly Smith drained a trey from the left side to put the score at 34-30 at the 4:08 mark.
As the clock emptied before the half, Kelly Smith put in a layup off a nice feed from Ashley Clarke to put ECU down just two, but Mayse converted two free throws with 2:26 left to re-establish the four-point lead. The Lady Pirates would outscore the Owls 7-4 to trail by just one at 40-39 heading into the break.
Kelly Smith dropped in 11 points in the period to pace ECU, while Chareya Smith contributed nine. Clarke pulled down a team-best four rebounds while also recording four assists. The Lady Pirates were plagued by turnovers, as they committed 11 as compared to just four for Rice.
Both teams shot the ball decently, as East Carolina hit 53.3 percent of its attempts while the Owls converted 40.6 percent. The Lady Pirates had the better of the rebounding 19-15 and notched 11 assists on 16 buckets.
Kim Gay hit a three-pointer to tie the game 49-49 at 15:59 but Rice pushed back ahead by five when Tara Watts hit a deep two-pointer from the left wing. ECU responded with a 7-2 run to knot the game back at 56-56 at the second media timeout (11:43).
Points became scarce during the next three-plus minutes, as the Owls edged ahead 61-59 on a Jessica Goswitz jumper. Rice then moved ahead even further as the clock showed 3:46, taking a 69-65 advantage.
The Owls kept the lead all the way to the final horn, as they grabbed critical offensive rebounds to hold off the Lady Pirates.
Clarke led the East Carolina offense with 17 while Kelly Smith added 11. Clarke also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
The Lady Pirates shot well despite the setback, firing at 52 percent while Rice converted 39.4 percent of its attempts. ECU also held the edge on the boards, 37-29 while converting 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
East Carolina completes its three-game road trip next Saturday Jan. 23, taking on defending regular season champion SMU at Moody Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.