ECU Hosts Tulane In Drive For Five
Feb. 12, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team looks for its second-straight win Saturday, hosting Tulane at 1 p.m. in its annual "Pink Zone" contest at Minges Coliseum.
The Lady Pirates (18-6, 7-4) are hoping to break the program's attendance record in the "Drive for Five." The goal is to have at least 5,000 fans in attendance. The game is of paramount importance in the league standings, as ECU trails the Green Wave (18-5, 7-3) by just a half-game for first-place. Additionally, the Green Wave are tied with ECU for the most overall wins in the conference. Fans can gain free admission if they wear pink, are 18 years old or younger, show a valid military ID or have a valid ECU student OneCard. A social with free pizza and drinks will be held for those students at Harvey Hall inside the Murphy Center at 12 noon.
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Pink Zone initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.
With a 64-54 triumph over UTEP Thursday, East Carolina won its school record 12th-straight home game and has won 24 of its last 26 at Minges. The Lady Pirates also surpassed last year's regular-season total of 17 wins and 18 are now the most such victories in head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener's time with the program.
ECU responded from a poor shooting performance in the first half with a 50-percent effort in the second period, sparking the 18-point turnaround. The Lady Pirates also dominated the glass, picking up its largest positive rebounding margin of the season at +26 (48-22) and holding UTEP to the lowest total by an opponent this year. That would prove key as East Carolina converted just 19 field goals, its lowest amount in a win and the second-fewest this campaign. Additionally, after failing to reach 10 made free throws in the last two contests, the Lady Pirates hit 20 of their 27 attempts while holding the Miners to just seven made in 10 tries.
Chareya Smith tied her career high with 14 points while pulling down seven rebounds while Jean Best and Kelly Smith each scored 10. Kim Gay nearly recorded her third double-double of the year, netting nine points to go along with a team-best nine rebounds. Even though Allison Spivey was just 2-for-10 from the field, she contributed in other ways with five assists and six rebounds as well as two triples at key times in the second half. Additionally, Ashley Clarke was 6-for-8 from the line in the second half to end up with six points.
Clarke paces the Lady Pirate league-leading offense with 12.2 points per game while junior Allison Spivey also averages double figures at 11 a contest. It is a balanced attack with three other players putting in at least 7.7 points per game. Gay leads the team on the glass, pulling down 5.7 rebounds over 24 appearances.
East Carolina also leads the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 46.9 percent. However, the Green Wave is fifth in the league in field goal percentage, allowing opponent to fire at just 38.8 percent. The Lady Pirates could use their C-USA best +5.5 rebounding margin to its advantage, as Tulane ranks in the bottom third of the the league in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.
Chassity Brown is tops for the Green Wave in scoring, putting in 14.2 points per game. She is joined by Danielle Nunn (10.4) who also averages double figures. Sophomore Brett Benzio serves as the best rebounder, pulling down 7.2 over 23 contests.
Tulane finds itself ranked first in C-USA in five categories: scoring defense (59.7), scoring margin (+11.0), assists (16.3), steals (12.5) and turnover margin (+5.1).
The Green Wave defeated Marshall 64-54 Thursday in Huntington, W.Va. and are 6-1 on the road this season.
THE SERIES: TULANE
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
THE AFTERMATH: UTEP
AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS
VALUE EVERY POSSESSION
LAYING OFF ON THE THEFT FOR NOW
INTO THE WEST
UP NEXT FOR THE LADY PIRATES