HAMPTON, Va. - The East Carolina women's basketball team made sure that head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener would become the winningest head coach in program history, capturing a 65-61 decision at Hampton Saturday at the HU Convocation Center. Baldwin-Tener has now won 111 contests at the helm of the Lady Pirate program. ECU is now 8-1 for just the fourth time in program history while Hampton falls to 2-6.
Hampton jumped out to a 6-5 lead at the 15:31 mark, thanks to a pair of three-pointers by Choicetta McMillan. Over the next four minutes, the teams traded baskets to make the score 10-9 in favor of the home team with 11:54 left in the half.
ECU began to push ahead from there, producing a 16-5 run that put it ahead 25-15 at the last media timeout of the period (3:52). The visiting Lady Pirates would take a 33-25 lead into the break as the squads shot scored the last seven combined points on free throws.
Kim Gay paced the visitors with nine points in the half, while also joining Ashley Clarke and Crystal Wilson in pulling down a team-high four rebounds. Additionally, Allison Spivey knocked down both of her attempts from beyond the arc.
East Carolina shot the ball well in the first 20 minutes, firing at a 50 percent clip while holding Hampton to just 28.1 efficiency. The Lady Pirates also held a 23-15 edge in rebounding but committed 14 turnovers as compared to nine for the home team.
Hampton came out shooting out of the locker room, putting together a 8-2 run to pull within 35-33 at the 15:43 mark. Breanna Jones tied the game at 39, capping off a modest 4-2 run, but Jean Best put ECU back in front by converting a three-point play. Jones then hit a jumper to make the score 42-41 with 11:18 remaining in the contest.
The Lady Pirates kept Hampton at bay over the next three and half minutes, assuming a 46-43 advantage on a Clarke pull-up jumper in the lane at the 7:56 mark. Clarke then began to turn up the defense, stealing and blocking balls on the way to giving her team a 57-49 advantage with just 3:41 left in the contest. Hampton tried to rally, but could come no closer than four the rest of the way, as East Carolina improved to 2-1 on the road in 2009-10.
Clarke, Gay and Spivey all led the offense with 12 points, including eight-for-eight efficiency from the line for Clarke, while Gay and Wilson both recorded seven rebounds.
ECU had the distinct advantage from the field, shooting at 43.5 percent while holding Hampton to just 29.7 efficiency. However, the home team had a 45-40 advantage on the glass. Defensively, East Carolina had six blocks while Hampton recorded five.
The Lady Pirates are next in action Dec. 19, when they face Houston-Baptist at the South Florida Shootout in Tampa, Fla. Tipoff against the Huskies at the Sun Dome is scheduled for 2 p.m.