Pirates Cruise Past Marshall, 61-43

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – On an evening in which East Carolina was missing two of its upperclassmen, senior Allison Spivey became the school’s all-time leading three-point field goal shooter as the Pirates downed Marshall 61-43 at the Cam Henderson Center. ECU picked up its third-straight victory to improve to 10-11 overall and 4-4 in C-USA action while the Herd lost its seventh-straight to fall to 5-16 and 1-7. The Pirates have now won two-straight in Huntington.

Leading scorer and senior Kim Gay sat out the contest due to injury while junior Chareya Smith missed the affair to tend to a death in the family. Senior Kelly Smith also did not play for medical reasons.

Spivey drained three triples in the second half to end up with four overall, pushing her career total to 180 and passing former teammate Jasmine Young (177) for the program record. She finished the contest with 18 points to lead four Pirates in double figures. Shala Hodges netted 11 while Jean Best and Celeste Stewart contributed 10. Junior Ashley Clarke pulled down a team-best seven rebounds as well as distributing five assists. Additionally, Best set a personal high with six blocked shots.

East Carolina drained 49 percent of its shots, including nine of 19 (47 percent) from beyond the arc, and held Marshall to 34 percent while also out-rebounding the Herd 35-25. The Pirates shared the ball well, registering 19 assists on their 24 baskets. Additionally, East Carolina allowed the second-fewest points in a win this year.

After Wilson gave ECU an 8-7 lead, the Pirates crept ahead by three when Spivey dropped in a layup at the 12:21 mark off a nice feed from Stewart. The advantage grew to 14-7 on a fastbreak jumper from the left side by Stewart, but the Herd rallied, pulling to within 16-14 on two Tynikki Crook free throws with 8:45 remaining in the period.

ECU heated up from beyond the arc over the next five minutes, as Stewart and Hodges drained a pair of triples each to push the Pirate lead into double digits at 27-17. Marshall went on a mini four-point run to cut its deficit to six, 27-21, but Stewart nailed a three on ECU’s next possession to push the advantage back to nine at the 4:18 mark.

The Pirates held the Herd to just two points the rest of the half, while Spivey knocked down a trey from the top of the key to close out the scoring, putting East Carolina in front 35-23.

Stewart and Hodges produced 10 and eight points, respectively, to lead the Pirate offense while Ashley Clarke and Crystal Wilson pulled down a team-high four rebounds each. Clarke also handed out three assists in the first 20 minutes to complement three blocks by Best.

ECU had the hot hand from the field, hitting 52 percent of their attempts (14-for-27), while holding Marshall to 35 percent (8-for-23). The Pirates also held the advantage on the glass 16-14 in addition to turning the ball over three times less than the home team (13-10).

Spivey continued to shoot well at the beginning of the second half, nailing the record-breaking three before adding another to make the score 41-25 at the 19:06 mark. Then, an 11-7 run over the next seven minutes, capped off by a Clarke layup, gave East Carolina its first 20-point lead of the night at 52-32.

The Pirates continued to keep the Herd off the board, pushing the lead out to 57-32 on Hodges’ third triple of the evening. Marshall would not threaten the rest of the way, as ECU sealed its first league road win of the season.

East Carolina returns to the court Sunday, traveling to Memphis for a rematch with the Tigers at FedExForum. Tipoff is set for 2:30 ET. Memphis downed the Pirates in Greenville 87-75 on Jan. 9.


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