HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The East Carolina women's basketball team fell behind early and could never recover, dropping a 59-55 contest at Southern Miss Thursday at Reed Green Coliseum. The Lady Pirates fell to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in league play while the Golden Eagles won their second-straight to move to 6-15 overall and 2-6 in C-USA action.
Southern Miss took an 8-6 lead in the first four minutes, thanks to two triples from Danielle Johnson. The teams traded the lead throughout much of the period, before Tanesha Washington gave the Golden Eagles a six-point advantage as the clock ticked under four minutes. That lead would stay at 33-27 at the break.
The Golden Eagles shot 51.7 percent in the half as compared to 40.7 for the Lady Pirates, who had the slight rebounding advantage 16-15. Southern Miss also recorded five blocks.
ECU fell behind by 10 as the second period began, but would tie the game with a Clarke free throw with under 10 minutes left. The Lady Pirates would stay within striking distance, but could not get over the hump as the Golden Eagles took the win.
Freshman Ariana Jackson netted a career-high 13 in the loss while Spivey put in 12. Clarke pulled down six rebounds and a trio of ECU players handed out three assists.
Southern Miss shot 43.6 from the floor while holding the Lady Pirates to just 37.3 percent. East Carolina held the slight margin on the boards, picking up 37 to 36 for the home team. Free throw shooting hurt the Lady Pirates, as they converted just five of their 13 attempts.
East Carolina completes the weekend with a contest at UCF Saturday. Tipoff at the UCF Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.