East Carolina Derails VCU, 77-72
Dec. 2, 2010
RICHMOND, Va. - East Carolina picked up its second road victory in as many tries this season, downing VCU 77-72 Thursday at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Pirates improve to 4-3 and have won two-straight while the Rams are now even at 2-2.
Sophomore Ariana Jackson posted a career-best 21 points to lead four ECU players in double figures. Ashley Clarke added 12 to complement 11 and 10-point performances by Kim Gay and Allison Spivey, respectively. Crystal Wilson pulled down a team-best eight rebounds as well as distributed a squad-high four assists. Additionally, Gay pocketed a personal-best four steals.
The Pirates shot the ball at a 47.2-percent clip, hitting 25 of their 53 attempts from the field. East Carolina also drained seven three-pointers in the contest as Spivey drew within two triples of sole possession of third-place on the program career chart. She now has 158. The Pirates out-rebounded the Rams by seven, 39-32, and were able to overcome a large disparity in fouls as the home team was whistled for just 21 as compared to 32 for East Carolina.
The game started out close, with neither team holding more than a four-point lead through the first six minutes. Sonia Johnson then gave VCU a five-point cushion at the 13:37 mark with a layup before Gay tied things at 20 with a jumper with just under 12 minutes remaining in the period.
ECU stayed in front by a slim margin most of the way, when at the 4:07 mark, Shala Hodges executed a steal and score to push the Pirates ahead by five. Jean Best would keep East Carolina in front by the same amount at halftime, 41-36, as she hit a jumper in the paint with four ticks showing on the clock.
Spivey and Ariana Jackson both scored eight in the first 20 minutes, hitting a pair of three-point field goals each, while Crystal Wilson pulled down a team-best four rebounds. The Pirates drained 15 of their 27 attempts in the half to post a 55.6 shooting mark, including five of 10 from deep. ECU also held the advantage on the glass 18-13.
A 9-4 run by the Rams tied the contest at the first media timeout (15:38) before the Rams stretched it even further, taking the lead at 54-53 on a layup and one by Jacqueline Brewer. East Carolina answered, out-scoring VCU 20-10 all the way down to the 2:54 mark as the run was capped off by two Celeste Stewart free throws.
The Rams made a late charge, cutting the deficit to three with seven seconds left, but Jackson closed out the scoring with two free throws.
The Pirates are back in action Sunday, traveling to Halton Arena for a matchup with Charlotte. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.