Women's Hoops Faces Western Carolina Sunday
Nov. 13, 2010
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - After suffering a tough season-opening loss to preseason Patriot League favorite American Friday, East Carolina gets right back into it with a contest against Western Carolina Sunday in Cullowhee. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Ramsey Center.
The Pirates trailed the Eagles by 16 points with 9:21 remaining in the game Friday, but chipped away at the lead and made it a one-point affair in the final minute. Junior Ashley Clarke led ECU with 18 points and grabbed three steals while Kelly Smith picked up a team-best six rebounds. Junior Crystal Wilson also netted four points while tallying three steals and five assists in her first game back from last season's knee injury.
The Pirates put up 64 shots as compared to 40 for the Eagles, but converted just 25 to shoot 39 percent. East Carolina was also whistled for 31 fouls, allowing American to make 34 of its 43 free throw attempts. The Pirates also struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just two of 15 attempts for a 13 percent showing.
Meanwhile, the Catamounts also began their season Friday at home with a 79-65 loss to Richmond. Junior guard Kaila'Shea Menendez led WCU with a team-high 18 points and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Menendez also hit the only three-pointer for the Catamounts, draining the trey with 10 minutes left in the second half.
Caitlin Hollifield was one of three total Western Carolina players to record double figure scoring. Carroll added 12 points and also had three steals. Redshirt sophomore Janae' McKinney led the team with a career-high eight rebounds.
The Catamounts shot just 34 percent while allowing the Spiders to enjoy a 43-36 advantage on the glass.
Last season in Greenville, ECU posted a 70-59 win over WCU in just the second contest of the year for both teams. Clarke posted a team-best 20 points in the game while Chareya Smith added a then career-high 11.
ECU shot the ball well, making 27 of 56 attempts from the field for a percentage of 48.6 as compared to 41.7 for the Catamounts. The Lady Pirates were also solid from the charity stripe, knocking down 72.7 percent of their tries. East Carolina fared well on the glass, out-rebounding the visitors 37-29 while picking up 10 offensive boards.
Western Carolina owns a slim 9-8 advantage in the all-time series but the Pirates have taken five of the last seven meetings. ECU last won in Cullowhee Jan. 8, 1979 by an 84-73 score.
After Sunday's contest, East Carolina returns home for its next four games. The Pirates take on in-state rival UNC Wilmington Nov. 19 at Minges Coliseum. Current assistant coach Ann Hancock spent the last 10 seasons as the Seahawks' head coach before joining the Pirate staff prior to this campaign.