ECU Turns Back Tulsa, 65-55

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball program earned its 600th win Thursday, downing Tulsa 65-55 at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates are now 13-14 overall and 7-7 in Conference USA play while the Golden Hurricane dropped its 10th consecutive contest to fall to 5-17 and 1-13.

With the triumph, ECU has won six-straight home tilts and 19 of its last 23 league games at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates also assured themselves of a winning season at home for the ninth consecutive year.

Senior Allison Spivey drained a season-high five three-point field goals in the affair to push her program career-leading total to 196. In the process, she moved into 11th place on the C-USA career ledger. Kim Gay and Chareya Smith also netted double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively on a combined 11-for-16 performance from the field. On the glass, Spivey pulled down a team-best seven boards to go along with three steals.

East Carolina knocked down 13 of 25 shots in the second half (52 percent) to end up 46 percent for the contest as it limited Tulsa to 22 field goals on 62 attempts (36 percent). The Pirates also held a rebounding advantage of 38-34, out-rebounding the Hurricane in the second period 20-13.

The home team was plagued by 27 turnovers, allowing Tulsa to score 26 points off those miscues. The Hurricane was not immune to turnover problems itself, however, as East Carolina was able to net 23 points off 22 giveaways.

ECU nailed five of its first eight shots to establish a 12-4 lead with just over five minutes gone in the contest. Tulsa would answer over the next three minutes, going on a 9-2 run to pull within one.

The Pirates held the Golden Hurricane to just two points for the subsequent three minutes and seven seconds, while pushing their advantage to seven at 22-15. A traditional three-point play by Loren McDaniel kept Tulsa within one possession of ECU, but Crystal Wilson answered with one of her own to make it a 29-22 contest at the 4:49 mark.

The Pirates would score just two more points the rest of the half, as the Hurricane netted four to slice its deficit to five. East Carolina had three looks at the basket in the final 1:34, but could not convert to stretch the lead.

Gay netted a team-best nine points in the first 20 minutes while also matching Allison Spivey with four rebounds. Spivey scored six of her own points on a pair of three-point field goals.

The Pirates shot 41 percent in the period and held Tulsa to 33 percent. The Hurricane kept close by capitalizing on nine offensive rebounds and turning them into 13 second-chance points. Tulsa also held the overall edge on the glass by three, 21-18.

Taleya Mayberry opened the second-half scoring with a three to pull her team within two, but ECU answered by scoring 12 of the next 18 points to storm in front 43-35. The teams would trade points until 11:36 showed on the clock, making the score 47-39.

In a game full of runs, the Hurricane responded yet again, this time scoring six-straight to make it a 47-45 affair. Ultimately, it would be the Pirates who had the last push, running all the way to a double-digit cushion by scoring 15 of the next 17. By the time the dust settled and Shala Hodges hit a three, East Carolina was ahead 62-47 with 5:20 remaining. Tulsa would chip away at the lead the rest of the contest, holding the Pirates without a field goal for the final 5:20, but could not come any closer than the final 10-point margin.

ECU plays one final game at Minges Coliseum Sunday, honoring its three seniors and welcoming Marshall for a 2 p.m. tipoff. The tilt is slated for a national broadcast on CBS College Sports with Jason Knapp (Play-By-Play) and Krista Blunk (Color) on the call.


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