Lafayette Downs East Carolina, 64-57
Dec. 29, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The beginning of the second half proved the difference in a close contest Thursday as Lafayette outlasted East Carolina 64-57 in the third game of the Terrapin Classic at the Comcast Center. The Pirates fall to 6-6 overall while the Leopards improve to 5-8.
Tatiana Chapple posted a career-best 12 rebounds for ECU, including five on the offensive end. Chareya Smith paced the Pirates offensively with 14 points as Britny Edwards and Shala Hodges also reached double figures at 13 and 12 respectively. Additionally, Kristine Mial recorded a season high with six steals.
East Carolina put up 13 more shots than Lafayette, but knocked down just 21 of their 67 tries from the field for a 31-percent showing. The Leopards, comparatively, were 22 of 54 to fire at a 41-percent clip. Lafayette also held the upper hand in rebounding 45-40 and handed out 18 assists on their 22 baskets.
The Pirates were able to force 22 Leopard turnovers and grab 17 steals while committing just 12 miscues of their own. Edwards, in the top 50 nationally in blocked shots per game, netted two of East Carolina's three stuffs.
A 6-6 deadlock was broken by the Leopards' Maddie Peabody, who hit a triple at the 15:02 mark to put her team in front. Lafayette pushed the advantage to 17-10 with 8:08 remaining in the period, but a fastbreak layup by Chareya Smith capped an 11-4 run over the next five minutes which produced a tie at 21.
Britny Edwards dropped in a layup as the clock ticked under two minutes to afford ECU a 25-23 lead. It looked as if the Leopards would enjoy the halftime advantage when Emily Homan scored in the paint with 10 seconds left, but Tatiana Chapple beat everyone down the floor off the inbounds play and scored on a layup to make it 27-26 at the break.
East Carolina knocked down nine of its last 18 attempts from the floor in the first 20 minutes, but suffered a 2-for-20 stretch at the beginning of the game to produce a 29-percent shooting clip. Meanwhile, Lafayette drained 10 of its 25 for 40 percent. The Leopards enjoyed a slim 23-22 advantage in rebounding, but the Pirates grabbed nine offensive rebounds and forced 14 turnovers as well as posting 13 steals.
Lafayette raced out to a 39-31 lead during the first six minutes of the second half and would go ahead by as much as nine at 44-35 when Brya Freeland drained a three-pointer from the wing. ECU responded with an 8-2 run to pull within three, but a Homan fastbreak layup pushed the advantage back to seven, 50-43.
East Carolina made one last push, as a Edwards three-point play made the score 54-50 with 1:43 left. However, the Pirates could not quite catch up as the Leopards iced the contest at the foul line.
ECU closes non-conference play Jan. 2, traveling to Virginia for a matchup with Hampton. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the HU Convocation Center.