Dec. 13, 2013
MONROE, La. -The East Carolina women's basketball team cruised to an 85-42 win over Alcorn State at the ULM Warhawk Classic with the help of three double-figure performances from Abria Trice, Jada Payne and J'Kyra Brown. The Pirates have opened the season with an 8-0 record to mark the best start in program history since the 1972-73 season when ECU kicked off the year with an 18-0 record.
Trice led all scorers with a career-high 23 points in the victory as she connected on 5-of-8 field goals and 12-of-13 free throws. The redshirt junior guard also added three rebounds, two assists, a pair of steals and one block in the win. Adding to the Pirates' offense were Payne and Brown who poured in 18 points each. Payne contributed six boards, three assists, one block and one steal, while Brown posted five rebounds, one assist and one steal. Junior guard Akia Jones led ECU in rebounding with seven boards to go along with six points and two steals. Junior guard Janesha Ebron dished out a game-high four assists, while redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw added a game-high two blocks, five rebounds, and two points.
ECU shot 41.4-percent from the field and 37.5-percent from beyond the arc. In a very physical game that saw 61 personal fouls and 68 free throw attempts, the Pirates shot 77.5-percent from the line as they made 31 free throws on 40 attempts.
Alcorn State (1-6) was limited to just 23.8-percent shooting in the game and was 1-for-9 from three-point range as the Braves shot 11.1-percent from beyond the arc. The Braves connected on 21-of-28 free throws for a free throw shooting percentage of 75-percent.
The Pirates' defense was solid as it only allowed the Braves to connect on 10 field goals and one three-pointer. The remainder of the Braves' 42 points came on free throws.
ECU out-rebounded Alcorn State 48-23 and the Pirates held the edge on assists (14-6), blocks (5-4), and steals (7-5). The Pirates' bench out-scored the Braves' bench 40 points to 12, and East Carolina capitalized on the Braves' 26 turnovers as ECU scored 33 points off of turnovers, while Alcorn State notched eight points off of turnovers.
Payne got the Pirates on the board with a layup to open the game and ECU never relinquished the lead. The Pirates pushed their lead to double digits (17-7) after Trice sank a pair of free throws. East Carolina shot 44.8-percent from the floor in the first half as the Pirates connected on 13-of-29 field goals. The Pirates' offense drained four three-pointers on eight attempts to shoot 50-percent in the frame, while notching 20 free throws on 23 attempts for a shooting percentage of 87-percent. East Carolina used a balanced offense and a stout defense that limited the Braves to just 22.2-percent shooting to take a 28-point advantage (50-22) into the locker room at halftime.
Following the halftime break in action, the Pirates continued their scoring surge as they extended their lead to 30 (52-22) on a jumper off the hands of Payne. East Carolina shot 37.9-percent from the field in the second half, while the Braves shot 26.7-percent. ECU led by as many as 45 points in the frame as they went up 84-39 on a jumper from Chanel Green. Despite the Braves' efforts, East Carolina took the contest by a score of 85-42.
Alcorn State was led offensively by Cortini Cooper, Kierro Frost, Tierro Frost and Ashtin McNichols who all chipped in eight points for the Braves. Henrietta Wells led the Braves in rebounding with six, while adding two points, a pair of assists and a steal.
The Pirates will play in the ULM Warhawk Classic championship game on Saturday, December 14, at 8 p.m. ET. East Carolina will go up against the winner of the ULM-Grand Canyon contest. Live stats will be available on ULMWarhawks.com.