Pirates Cruise Past Massachusetts, 97-83
Nov. 28, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina drained a program-record 13 three-point field goals and shot 52 percent from the field to down Massachusetts 97-83 Sunday at Minges Coliseum in the finale of the Ninth-Annual Pirate Invitational. ECU evens its record at 3-3 while the Minutewomen fall to 0-6.
The Pirates have won 26 of their last 32 home contests and improved to 3-0 all-time against Massachusetts. On the school career chart, senior Allison Spivey took over fourth for three-point field goals as her four in the game left her with 156.
Spivey and Kelly Smith knocked down eight combined treys to finish with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Ashley Clarke, Chareya Smith and Kim Gay also put in double figures with 15, 12 and 11. Gay topped the team with five rebounds while Clarke recorded a squad-best eight assists as part of a 28-assist performance by the home team. Additionally, Ariana Jackson pocketed three of the Pirates' 12 steals.
East Carolina converted 36 of 68 attempts from the field to produce a 52.9 percentage and took care of the ball well, committing just nine turnovers while forcing 19 from Massachusetts. ECU turned in at least 30 or more field goals in a game for the 25th time since the start of the 2006-07 season. Shakia Robinson netted 30 points for the Minutewomen, hitting 13 of their 31 shots from the field.
The Pirates jumped out to an 8-0 advantage in the first two minutes with a pair of three-point field goals. After Kelly Robinson pulled Massachusetts to within 12-6 with a mid-range jumper, East Carolina ripped off an 18-2 run over the next six and a half minutes to push ahead 30-8.
A Kelly Smith three-pointer at the 7:18 mark gave the Pirates their largest lead of the contest at 40-16. ECU would keep the margin above 20 until Abbey Lalime hit a jumper in the paint to make it 46-27 with 4:03 remaining in the half. Clarke would cap the scoring in the period with six seconds left, taking the ball all the way down the court off a Robinson free throw and nailing a jumper in the key to leave East Carolina in front , 55-38.
Clarke and Robinson matched each other with 12 points in the first 20 minutes while Gay had three rebounds for the Pirates. Spivey also recorded three of her four triples.
The Pirates torched the nets in the first half, shooting 59 percent (22-for-38) and grabbing eight steals off of 11 Minutewomen turnovers.
Dee Montgomery made it a 15-point game four minutes into the second half, dropping in a layup and cutting her team's deficit to 66-51. However, Shala Hodges responded with a three-pointer, igniting a 14-6 run that was capped off by another Kelly Smith triple, making the score 80-57 at the 10:41 mark.
With East Carolina leading 90-66 and 5:20 showing on the clock, Massachusetts made one last push. Robinson took over for the visitors and almost single-handedly made it an 11-point affair, scoring 10 of her team's 15 points in a four and a half minute stretch. However, only 54 seconds remained as a three-pointer by freshman Katie Paschal ended the scoring with 22 ticks left and gave the Pirates the program record from beyond the arc.
For their efforts over the weekend, Gay and Clarke were named to the Ninth-Annual Pirate Invitational All-Tournament Team.
ECU takes to the road for its next two contests, beginning Thursday in Richmond against VCU. Tipoff from the Verizon Wireless Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.