Lady Pirates Look To Extend Winning Ways At Rice
Jan. 16, 2010
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina women's basketball team puts its five-game winning streak, 15-2 overall record and 4-0 ledger in Conference USA play on the line Sunday, taking on Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse at 3 p.m.
The Lady Pirates are trying to match the best league start since joining C-USA prior to the 2001-02 season as the 2003-04 squad won its first five league affairs before dropping its final nine. ECU enters the game having defeated Houston 94-87 in overtime Friday at Hofheinz Pavilion. The victory marked the first-ever over the Cougars in nine meetings. The 94 points were also the third-most scored by the Lady Pirates in a C-USA contest.
Allison Spivey and Ashley Clarke posted 20-point efforts with 23 and 20, the first time since the duo scored 25 and 22 against Charlotte in the season opener. Additionally, Kelly Smith and Spivey combined for an 8-for-8 showing from beyond the arc. Smith and Jean Best also scored in double figures, as the former notched 16 while the latter picked up a season-high 15. Crystal Wilson served as the top rebounder, collecting seven boards. Spivey and Clarke recorded four assists each.
The Lady Pirates shot 57 percent in the game, marking the eighth time they have reached the 50-percent plateau this year. However, the Cougars held the edge on the boards only slightly, 45-44. The visitors also picked up the advantage in assists (18-11) and from the three-point line (.667-.214).
Clarke leads the ECU offense, scoring 13.1 points per contest, while averaging a C-USA second-best 5.5 assists per game. East Carolina enjoys six players averaging 7.5 or more points, including 11.4 and 9.8 marks from Spivey and Wilson. Kim Gay is the leading rebounder for the Lady Pirates, pulling down 5.6 over 17 contests.
ECU finds itself ranked in the top three in the league in nine different statistical categories in league games, including first in scoring offense (80.2 ppg), scoring margin (+17.0), field goal percentage (.491), three-point field goal percentage (.452), assists per game (17.3) and defensive rebounds per game (26.5).
Meanwhile, Rice arrives at Sunday off of its first C-USA victory of the season, a 63-61 triumph over visiting Marshall. The Lady Pirates defeated the Herd 78-54 in their league opener at Minges Coliseum Jan. 4. Morgan Mayse scored a game-high 16 points and Jackie Stanley posted her third straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Stanley leads the Owls in scoring at 15.2 ppg, while Mayse follows at 10.6. Mayse (5.7 rpg) is also second to Stanley (7.6 rpg) in rebounding.
Rice has taken two of the last three meetings between the schools, but East Carolina captured a 79-54 win over the Owls last season at Minges Coliseum. The series is tied 3-3 but the Lady Pirates have never defeated Rice in Houston (0-2).