ECU Knocks Off Elon 60-46 To Close Tournament
Nov. 27, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Led by a double-double performance from senior Chareya Smith, East Carolina posted a 60-46 victory over Elon to close out the 2011 ECU Thanksgiving Tournament and improve to 4-2 overall. Smith nearly averaged a double-double during the two Pirate wins to earn event MVP honors.
The Pirates improved to 4-0 at home with the triumph and have now won 37 of their last 46 contests at Minges Coliseum. East Carolina also kept its Conference USA-best points allowed mark at 46.3 per outing through six games.
"This was our most complete effort of the season," head coach Heather Macy said. "As our young team plays together more and more, we will continue to improve."
Smith produced 12 points and a team-best 12 rebounds to complete her first double-double of the campaign, while ECU's season leading scorer Shala Hodges netted a game-high 15 points. Britny Edwards and Janesha Ebron shared the squad lead in steals with three apiece as five East Carolina players recorded multiple thefts.
The Pirates held the Phoenix to 18 field goals on 54 attempts while converting 22 baskets of their own on 63 shots. ECU also outworked the visitors on the glass, dominating the statistic by a 54-34 count and picking up 18 offensive boards.
Elon jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute on a basket by Lisa Archie, but ECU scored seven of the next nine points to assume a one-point advantage. Ali Ford then hit a three-point basket with 15:03 showing on the clock to put the Phoenix back in front.
The Pirates turned up their defensive intensity from there, racing out to a 27-15 lead when Katie Paschal drained a three-pointer from the wing. Elon then went on a run of its own, cutting the deficit down to seven when Kelsey Harris dropped in a layup with 1:32 to play in the half. The teams combined for three free throws in the remaining time as ECU took a 32-24 cushion into the break.
Hodges posted 10 points in the first 20 minutes while sophomore Kristine Mial scored eight. Chareya Smith picked up six rebounds in the period, two on the offensive glass, and Dana Jones contributed five to complement three assists from senior Bryelle Smith.
Both squads shot 31 percent, with the Pirates knocking down 11 field goals as compared to 10 for the visitors. East Carolina dominated the glass, enjoying a 29-18 advantage which included 11 offensive rebounds.
ECU built a 13-point cushion six minutes into the second half on a Edwards layup. Harris then whittled the lead down to seven when she dropped in a layup of her own, but an old-fashioned three-point play by Smith put the advantage back to double digits. A jumper by Sam Coffer momentarily pulled Elon to within eight at 44-36 with 10:58 left in the game before Bryelle Smith answered with a triple from the corner to make the score 47-36.
A layup by Chareya Smith afforded the Pirates their largest lead of the afternoon at 18 at the 4:35 mark as East Carolina cruised to the victory.
The Pirates continue their four-game homestand Wednesday, hosting Monmouth at Minges Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
2011 East Carolina Thanksgiving Tournament All-Tournament Team