Lady Pirates Advance to Semifinals with 76-62 Win Over SMU
March 3, 2007
TULSA, Okla. -- No. 3 East Carolina (17-13) used a balanced scoring effort from its starting five to grab a 14 point victory over No. 6 SMU, 76-62, in the final quarterfinal game of the 2007 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship on Friday evening. Four of ECU's five starters registered in double-figures, led by LaCoya Terry with 18 points. The Lady Pirates advance to their first appearance in the championship semifinals as a member of C-USA.
The game was tight in the first half as the lead changed hands six times. The Mustangs took their final lead of the half with 5:14 remaining at 19-18. The Lady Pirates went back on top on their next possession and went into the break up by four, 32-28.
The second half played out much like the first as SMU grabbed another lead midway through at 53-52 on a lay up by Sharee Shepherd. Terry was then fouled and hit two free throws to put ECU back in the lead, 54-53.
ECU's Impris Manning followed with two consecutive baskets, the second of which she converted a three-point play and pushed the ECU lead to 59-54. The Lady Pirates then salted the game away with solid free throw shooting and eventually pushed their lead to the final margin of 14.
In addition to her 18 points, Terry had eight rebounds and six assists. Nicole Days scored a career-high 15 points and added seven rebounds and three blocks, while Manning finished with 12 points and four boards. Jasmine Young was the fourth starter in double-figures with 10 and Cherie Mills just missed a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
SMU (18-12) was led by a game-high 29 points from Janielle Dodds. The junior also had 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Freshman Delisha Wills chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds in the loss.
The Lady Pirates advance to the C-USA semifinals for the first time since joining the league. ECU will face No. 2 UAB who defeated No. 10 Tulsa 67-65 earlier on Friday. Tip-off between the Lady Pirates and the Blazers is slated for 5:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast nationally on CSTV.
EAST CAROLINA HEAD COACH Sharon Baldwin-Tener