Lady Pirates Edged At Buzzer, 72-69
Feb. 8, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The East Carolina women's basketball team fell by the slimmest of margins Sunday inside Fogelman Arena, dropping a thriller to Tulane, 72-69. The Lady Pirates drop to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in conference play while the Green Wave improve to 14-10 on their campaign and 6-4 in league action.
Tulane jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 2:26, but ECU fought back, pulling within two when Kim Gay hit a mid-range jumper at the 16:08 mark. The Green Wave then used a 8-2 run, capped off by consecutive three-pointers by Indira Kaljo, to establish a 14-6 advantage. A Jean Best layup with 9:44 remaining in the period ended an 8-4 run by the Lady Pirates, leaving Tulane with the lead at 18-14 before a trey by Tiffany Aidoo pushed the Green Wave back in front, 23-16 at the 6:29 mark.
With Tulane leading 25-21 with just over two minutes until the break, Jasmine Young nailed a three from the left corner to pull East Carolina to within one. However, the Lady Pirates could not take advantage of three-straight misses by the Green Wave and Tulane made them pay, as Kaljo hit her third trey of the half with 36 seconds remaining, making the score 29-24 at halftime in favor of the home team.
Best paced ECU in the first half, netting six points while Gay and LaCoya Terry both pulled down three boards. For the Green Wave, Kaljo collected 13 points while Brittany Lindsey poured in eight. Tulane out-dueled the Lady Pirates on the glass, 22-15, including 11 offensive rebounds while East carolina fared better from the field, out-shooting the Green Wave .423-.353. Additionally, Tulane recorded 12 assists on its 12 field goals made.
The Lady Pirates kept the margin within four for most of the second period, and would eventually pull just two back when Best hit a pair of free throws to make the score 53-51 with 7:55 remaining in the contest. The Green Wave responded, scoring five-straight points to put seven points between them and ECU. The Lady Pirates were not done, however, rallying to tie the score at 65 on a Crystal Wilson jumper at the 1:52 mark. Ashley Langford hit two free throws to put Tulane back in front with 1:24 left but Terry knocked down two from the charity stripe to knot the score once again.
Langford put her team back in front when she hit a layup and was fouled with 14 seconds left, but she missed the free throw and Brett Benzio would commit her fifth foul, sending Gay to line. She cooly knocked down a pair of free tosses, giving the Green Wave the ball with 12 ticks on the clock. Kaljo missed a potential game-winning three, but the ball deflected right back to her, and she drilled her sixth and final trey of the afternoon with .1 seconds remaining. Young's last second heave was off the mark, preserving the victory for Tulane.
Terry netted a team-high 19 points for East Carolina, while Young and Best scored 13 apiece. Additionally, Best pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. The Lady Pirates enjoyed the advantage from the field .446 to .403 but with smashed on the boards, getting out-rebounded 45-29.
ECU returns to the court on Friday for a rematch with league-leader Southern Miss. The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Minges Coliseum.