Lady Pirates Trump the Cards
Lady Pirates Trump the Cards
"I was really proud (of the way we played tonight)," said ECU head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener, "and I think that we won this one on the defensive end. Even when we were down by five, we kept playing. We made some big plays toward the end of the game and we were able to come up with some loose balls, some rebounds and we were able to hit some free throws down the stretch."
Louisville won the tip to start the game and scored its first point on a free throw by Amanda Wolke. The Cardinals would go up 3-0 on a Wolke lay-up. Soon after, Sara Nord hit a three-point basket and the Cardinals were off and running with a six point lead. Courtney Willis put the Pirates on the board at the 17:30 mark of the first half when she hit a lay-up to cut the Cardinal lead to four. At 12:47 of the period, Jackson hit a three-point basket to tie the game at 12. Minutes later with both teams sitting at 17 points, Samantha Pankey hit two free throws to give the Lady Pirates their first lead of the game. Louisville tied things up once again on a 10-foot jump shot by Lori Nero, but ECU's Shanita Sutton knocked in a lay-up to give the Pirates' their final lead of the half. East Carolina would go up by as much as eight points on two separate occasions, but took a six-point lead into the locker room at the break, up 37-31.
Louisville came out spirited in the second half, outscoring ECU eight to two to tie the game at 39. The Pirates, however took control of the gain again and for the third time on the night, took an eight point lead, this time on a free throw by Katie Cloud. With East Carolina up by three, 62-59, Nord hit her fifth three-point basket of the night to tie the game at 62. Nina Simotes hit a jump shot from the baseline less than 30 seconds later to give Louisville its first lead since the early minutes of the first half. A Pirates turnover left the ball in Simotes hands once again, this time hitting a three to put the Cardinals up by five.
"I thought we were fine (handling the five-point deficit late in the second half)," said Baldwin-Tener. "We needed to go down and score a basket and we did, we cut it to three and we didn't give up. We were ahead most of this game and I think we had confidence towards the end of the game that we could continue to score and keep them from scoring."
With 2:55 left in the game and Louisville up by three, Wolke fouled out of the fame, sending Jackson to the free throw line. Jackson hit both shots to cut the lead to one. At 2:44, Jackson hit a lay-up to give the Pirates the go-ahead point. A Louisville turnover found the ball in Tali Robich's hands. Robich would be fouled by Louisville's Kassidi Bishop, sending her to the free throw line. Robich made both shots to give ECU the 70-67 advantage. With Louisville in possession of the ball, Jackson made a crucial steal and hit a lay-up on a break away to put the Pirates up by five. Louisville would score one more basket and East Carolina added its final two points on free throws by Kris May Richardson to end the game with a 74-67 win over the Cardinals.
Willis had 18 points for the Pirates and Pankey had nine points and nine rebounds, a career high. She also matched her career high with six assists on the night. The Lady Pirates outrebounded the Cardinals 45-34, It marked the third time this season that all participating players rebounded and the second time this season that all participating players scored. The Pirates shot 47.3 percent from the field to Louisville's 38.2 percent.
"I think we had too many turnovers again," said Baldwin-Tener. "Sam (Pankey) came in and had six assists and nine rebounds, which is pretty good for a point guard. Playing all 40 minutes I think she did a good job. I think we have got to take a little better care of the ball."
Nord led the scoring for Louisville with 17 points. She was the only Cardinal player to reach double digits in any statistical category.
The Pirates will host Cincinnati this Sunday, February 9 at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. It will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two teams. Cincinnati leads the series 2-1. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. and the game will be televised by WITN-TV Channel 7 locally in Greenville.