Strong Second Half Lifts ECU Over Elon, 93-84

UABSPORTS.COM Kristine Mial
UABSPORTS.COM
Kristine Mial
UABSPORTS.COM

Nov. 23, 2013

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ELON, N.C. - East Carolina used a balanced offense that shot nearly 52-percent in the second half en route to defeating Elon, 93-84, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gym. The Pirates benefitted from a pair of 20-point performances from Jada Payne and Kristine Mial as they improved to 5-0 on the year, while Elon dropped to 2-2.

Payne led all scorers with 23 points to go along with a season-high six steals, four rebounds, and two assists. Mial tied her career-high with 20 points in the contest while adding a game-high 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the year. Junior guard Janesha Ebron turned in a career-best 19 points while adding a game-best six assists to tie her career-high. She also posted four steals and three boards. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice rounded out the Pirates' four double-figure scorers as she finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds and a steal.

The Pirates out-shot Elon in the second half as they connected on 15-of-29 shots to post a 51.2-shooting percentage. East Carolina surged in the second half as the Pirates tallied 50 points the frame and led by as many as 19 (70-51) at 9:38 in the second half. However, the Phoenix refused to quit as the hosts chipped away at the Pirates' double-digit lead and cut it to seven (88-81) with just 1:04 left in the game. Despite Elon's threats, ECU finished strong and put the game away 93-84.

Mial led the ECU offense in the second half as she poured in 16 of her 20 points in the frame. Ebron also contributed to the Pirates' offensive surge in the final 20 minutes of action as she totaled eight points, four assists, and three steals.

East Carolina shot 46.2-percent from the field in the first half and Trice and Payne led ECU in the first half with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Payne also collected four steals, while Kristine Mial added four rebounds. Although the Pirates won the first half, 43-40, Elon out-shot ECU in the frame as the Phoenix boasted 58.3-percent shooting from the field. ECU, however, held the edge in rebounds (21-16) and forced Elon into 12 turnovers.

In the game, Elon out-shot East Carolina 53.6-percent to 48.5-percent, but the Pirates out-rebounded the Phoenix 38-35. ECU also collected 15 steals in the contest, while holding Elon to just six. East Carolina forced Elon into 25 turnovers and managed to score 33 points off of turnovers in the game.

Like ECU, Elon had four double-figure scorers in Lauren Brown (17), Zora Stephenson (16), Jenifer Rhodes (15), and Kelsey Harris (14). Rhodes led the Phoenix with eight boards, while Sam Coffer dished out a team-best three assists.

East Carolina will return to Minges Coliseum next weekend as the Pirates host the ECU Thanksgiving Tournament beginning Friday, November 29 and concluding Sunday, December 1. The first game of the tournament pits ECU against IUPUI at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 29. Live stats, video and audio will be available on ECUPirates.com.