Lady Pirates Shoot Past UTEP, 73-43
Feb. 5, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Buoyed by a 63 percent shooting performance, the East Carolina women's basketball team snapped a two-game skid, cruising past defending Conference USA champion UTEP, 73-43 Thursday night inside Minges Coliseum. The Lady Pirates improve to 13-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play while the Miners fall to 12-10 and 5-5 in C-USA action. Additionally, the 30-point win was the program's largest margin of victory in a C-USA contest, topping a 26-point home triumph over St. Louis on Jan. 9, 2005.
With the win, ECU improved to 9-1 at home, its best record through 10 games inside Minges Coliseum since 2003-04, when that Lady Pirate squad also started the home season 9-1. Additionally, senior Jasmine Young, with eight points, moved into fifth-place on the program career scoring ledger.
ECU edged ahead at the start, breaking a 4-4 tie when Allison Spivey drilled a trey at the 16:25 mark. The Lady Pirates would then stretch their lead to five, taking a 12-7 lead at the second media timeout (11:48). Points became scarce over the next four minutes, as a Jean Best layup put East Carolina in front 14-9 with 7:32 remaining in the half.
Another three from Spivey gave the Lady Pirates their largest lead of the game, 22-11, with 5:34 remaining on the clock, but UTEP would slice the deficit back to seven at the 3:59 mark. ECU began to pull away as the period came to a close, hitting four-consecutive shots, the last a mid-range jumper by Young with less than a second left on the clock as the score stood at 32-20 at the break.
LaCoya Terry and Spivey paced the team in the first half, as they each produced eight points. On the glass, three Lady Pirates pulled down three boards in Young, Best and Tiahana Bowens. For the Miners, Timika Williams put in a team-high seven in the period while also grabbing a squad-best six boards. ECU held the decided advantage from the floor, hitting 57 percent of its shots as compared to just 31 percent for the visitors. The Lady Pirates also controlled the glass, enjoying a 20-12 margin.
East Carolina came out hot in the second half, hitting four of its first six shots to extend its advantage to 43-30 at the 14:31 mark. The lead would only grow from there, as the Lady Pirates scored the next eight points to enjoy their largest lead of the contest, 49-30, at the second media timeout. A 12-4 run, including six points from Lauren Cochran down low, only extended the advantage further, as ECU led 61-34 with 7:07 on the clock.
The lead would balloon to an even 30 when Crystal Wilson converted a three-point play, making the score 64-34 with 6:20 remaining. That advantage would stay the same the rest of the way, as the Lady Pirates cruised to the 30-point win.
It was certainly a team effort for East Carolina, as three players scored in double figures while two others notched at least eight points. Ashley Clarke led the way for the first time in her young career, netting 11 points, while Bowens corralled a team-high seven rebounds. For the visitors, Timika Williams collected 14 points to lead all scorers.
The Lady Pirates torched the nets in the contest, converting 31 of their 49 attempts to finish with a shooting percentage of 63.3, its best shooting performance of the campaign by far. ECU also exerted its dominance on the glass, enjoying a 43-23 margin. The 43 points and 23 rebounds by UTEP represent the second-lowest total for an opponent this season while the 31 field goals made by the Lady Pirates are the second-most thus far this campaign.
East Carolina takes to the road on Sunday for its sixth C-USA contest away from home, traveling to New Orleans, La. for a tilt with Tulane. The contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be televised on WITN-TV as well as CBS College Sports.