Lady Pirates Top UAB, 70-64
Jan. 24, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team won its second-consecutive contest Saturday afternoon and improved to 8-1 at home, gutting out a 70-64 victory over Conference USA rival UAB before 1,726 inside Minges Coliseum. The Lady Pirates rise to 12-7 overall and even their conference ledger at 3-3 while UAB drops to 7-13 on its season and 2-5 in conference play.
Jean Best put ECU on top when she converted a layup and was fouled, completing the three-point play with a free throw at the 19:31 mark. After UAB tied the game at six with 16:31 left in the period, the Lady Pirates edged ahead, out-scoring the Blazers over the next five minutes to assume a 13-10 advantage at the second media timeout. UAB's Britney Jones took over the floor for the next few minutes, netting two-straight threes to push the Blazers ahead by three. However, the Lady Pirates' Allison Spivey hit a trey of her own to give East Carolina the advantage back, 21-19, with six minutes remaining in the stanza.
UAB began to find its offense as the half drew to a close, going on a 13-5 run and taking a 32-26 lead with 1:45 left. However, the Lady Pirates scored the last three points of the period to pull within 32-29 at the break.
Best paced ECU in the first half, netting eight points on 3-of-5 shooting. Britney Jones, Conference USA's leading scorer, poured in 17 to lead the Blazers while Amanda Peterson grabbed a team-high five boards. Kim Gay and Tiahana Bowens shared the team lead on the glass for the Lady Pirates with six rebounds each, helping the Lady Pirates enjoy a 20-18 margin. However, UAB out-shot East Carolina .414-.367 in the period, including 6-for-13 efficiency from beyond the arc.
The Lady Pirates began to close the gap at the beginning of the second half and eventually took the lead when Gay hit a mid-range jumper to make the score 39-38 at the 15:53 mark. East Carolina would maintain its slim advantage over the next five minutes, hanging on to a 46-45 lead with an eight-foot jumper by LaCoya Terry with 11:05 left in the contest. That advantage would grow to five when Spivey hit her third trey of the contest at 9:08, The Blazers fought back however, pulling to within one at 53-52 on a Fatiha Salaam layup. But Terry took over the rest of the game, scoring eight points in the final five minutes to help the Lady Pirates pull away. Senior Jasmine Young iced the contest with 1:11 left, burying a 24-foot three-pointer as the shot clock expired, giving ECU a six-point lead at that time.
The Lady Pirates put in a total team effort, as five players scored in double figures. Best and Terry both netted 13 while Young, Spivey and Gay collected 12, 11 and 10, respectively. Additionally, Gay recorded her first career double-double, adding 10 rebounds to lead East Carolina while Terry notched a team-high seven assists.
Both squads took care of the ball in the game, as the Lady Pirates produced 18 assists to just 13 turnovers while UAB distributed 13 assists to 12 turnovers. ECU's 13 was the second-least amount this season, three more than the 10 they committed against Appalachian State. The Lady Pirates ended up with the advantage from the field (.424-.391) as well as on the glass (40-36) while also out-shooting the second-leading three-point shooting squad in C-USA (.455-.381).
East Carolina hits the road again next week for a pair of C-USA contests at UCF (Thursday) and Southern Miss (Saturday) before returning home Feb. 5 to face defending C-USA champion UTEP.