WASHINGTON, D.C. –George Washington had five double-figure scorers en route to ending East Carolina’s season as the Pirates dropped an 86-68 contest in the first round of the WNIT. ECU concludes the year with a 22-9 overall record and a 10-6 mark in Conference USA action. The Colonials improve to 22-10 overall (11-5 Atlantic 10) and will face Villanova in the second round of the WNIT.
The Colonials were led offensively by Megan Nipe who came off the bench and tallied a team-best 20 points to go along with four rebounds. Danni Jackson added 18 points, while Caira Washington notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Jonquel Jackson and Chakecia Miller each contributed 10 points for George Washington.
East Carolina had three double-figure scorers as it was led by Shae Nelson who tallied a game-high 23 points. Jada Payne registered a double-double as she poured in 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with three steals, two assists and one block. J’Kyra Brown recorded 10 points while adding four assists, one rebound, one block and one steal.
GW out-shot East Carolina 43.9-percent to 31.6-percent in the game and also held the edge on rebounds with 55 to the Pirates’ 48. The Colonials tallied 18 assists, 11 steals and 10 blocks, while ECU posted 13 assists, 10 steals and seven blocked shots. George Washington capitalized on points off of turnovers as the hosts tallied 24 points to the Pirates’ 13.
George Washington jumped out to a 9-0 advantage over East Carolina as the Colonials held the Pirates scoreless until Payne was able to get ECU on the board at 16:42. GW shot 41-percent from the field in the first half as the Colonials connected on 16-of-39 field goal attempts. The Pirates struggled offensively early on as ECU was limited to 33.3-percent (12-for-36) shooting in the frame.
After their game-opening 9-0 run, the Colonials extended their lead to as many as 17 (31-14) at 5:50, but the Pirates would not go quietly. East Carolina managed to cut GW’s lead to eight (33-25) after back-to-back three’s from Nelson and Payne. Despite the Pirates’ efforts, the Colonials led throughout the game and took a 39-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Pirates managed to make it a two-possession game to open the second half after Brown kicked off the frame with a three-pointer to make it 39-35 in favor of George Washington. East Carolina battled and cut the Colonials’ lead to two points (52-50) at 12:01 after Nelson sunk both her free throws. The Pirates continued to stay on the Colonials’ heels and pulled within one (56-55) at 10:30 after a three off the hands of Payne. Despite the Pirates’ efforts, George Washington maintained the lead and jumped back out in front as the Colonials pushed their lead to 18 to win the game.