BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team fell for the first time this season, dropping a 57-45 decision at Gardner-Webb Saturday at Paul Porter Arena. The Lady Pirates are now 8-1 while the Lady Bulldogs are an identical 7-1.
GWU jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but ECU scored four-straight to pull within 7-6 at the 15:25 mark. The Lady Bulldogs then pushed ahead, using a 7-0 run to make the score 14-6 with 11:24 left in the half. Maragret Roundtree capped off a modest 4-3 stretch for the home team, converting a layup to give her team a 18-9 advantage at the third media timeout (7:46). Gardner-Webb kept inching forward, as Monique Hudson drained a deep three that put the score at 25-15 at the 3:45 mark. The Lady Bulldogs carried a double-digit lead into the break, outscoring the Lady Pirates 4-2 in the final minutes, marking the first time East Carolina has trailed at the half this season.
Ashley Clarke paced the offense in the period, scoring eight points while Chareya Smith picked up a team-best six rebounds. The Lady Pirates also suffered their poorest shooting half of the year, firing at just 25 percent while GWU converted 45.5 percent.
After a three by Allison Spivey brought ECU within nine, Monique Hudson converted a three-point play to give the home team its largest lead of the game 33-20. With the Lady Bulldogs ahead 37-20, the Lady Pirates scored four-straight to make the score 37-24 at the 11:52 mark. East Carolina began to find its offense, outscoring Gardner-Webb 10-3 over the next four minutes to draw within 40-34. However, the Lady Bulldogs kept the rally at bay, assuming a 48-41 lead with 3:15 left in the contest. The Lady Pirates could come no closer the rest of the way.
Kelly Smith led ECU with 11 points while Clarke scored 10. Chareya Smith also chipped in a career-best 10 rebounds.
The Lady Pirates were cold from the field, shooting just 29.3 percent while GWU fired at 42.2
The Lady Pirates return to the court Dec. 12, traveling to Hampton for a 6 p.m. tip at the HU Convocation Center.