GREENVILLE, N.C. – Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne recorded a double-double as East Carolina defeated William & Mary, 69-57, Friday night at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates opened the season with three consecutive victories for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Payne recorded an ECU (3-0) career-best 23 points to lead all scorers while adding 11 rebounds for her first double-double as a Pirate. She also added a pair of steals and an assist while shooting 41.2-percent (7-of-17) from the field, 66.7-percent (4-for-6) from beyond the arc, and 83.3-percent (5-for-6) from the free throw line. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice added13 points to go along with a game-high three steals and two rebounds, while junior forward Tatiana Chapple added six points, four boards, three assists, and one steal. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw chipped in six points of her own while posting three rebounds, two blocks, and one assist, and junior guard Janesha Ebron dished out a game-best five assists, four points, one steal, one rebound, and one block.
William & Mary (0-2) out-shot the Pirates 39.3-percent to 37.7-percent in the contest, but East Carolina held the edge in rebounds (49-31), assists (15-11), and blocks (4-3).
The Pirates got on the board first as Trice dropped in a layup to start ECU on a 6-1 run. The East Carolina defense did not allow the Tribe a field goal until 14:30 when senior forward Kaitlyn Mathieu laid it in to cut the Pirates’ lead in half (6-3). Despite the Pirates’ early run, William & Mary managed to close the gap and even the score at 11-all. Over the ensuing points, the two teams exchanged leads and found themselves tied up at 29-29 with 1:40 remaining in the half. Payne drained a three to break the lead and give ECU a 32-29 lead, but William & Mary’s Latrice Hunter countered with a layup with less than one minute left to play to send the game into halftime with the Pirates up 32-31.
The Tribe out-shot the Pirates 43.3-percent to 37.9-percent in the first half, but ECU led William & Mary in rebounds, 20-18. Payne was the only scorer to reach double figures in the first half as she had 13 points to go along with five rebounds and one steal.
ECU opened second half on an 8-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer from Payne, who accounted for six of the Pirates’ eight points. The Pirates held William & Mary scoreless in the second frame until the 16:54 mark when Kasey Curtis hit a layup at to move the score to 40-33. The Pirates pushed their lead to double digits (45-35) on a trey off the hands of Trice at 14:16 and forced the Tribe to call for a timeout. Following the break in action, East Carolina’s offense broke the game open as the Pirates led by as many as 19 points (67-48) with 5:06 left to go. William & Mary chipped away at ECU’s lead, but the hosts kept the Tribe at a distance and East Carolina took the game by a score of 69-57.
The second half was the difference maker in the game as the Pirates out-shot the Tribe 37.5-percent to 35.5-percent, while holding the advantage in rebounds (29-13), assists (9-6), steals (8-4) and blocks (3-2). ECU connected on 11-of-12 free throws to shoot 91.7-percent from the charity stripe, while the defense held the Tribe to 12.5-percent (1-for-8) shooting from three-point range.
Mathieu and Marlena Tremba led the Tribe offensively with 13 points each. Mathieu also was the team leader in rebounds with six boards. Alexis Hofstaedter registered five assists two steals and two points for William & Mary.
East Carolina returns to action Sunday, November 17, against Loyola (Md.). Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m., at Williams Arena inside Minges Coliseum. Live stats, video and audio are available on ECUPirates.com. All fans who bring their ECU football ticket stub from the Saturday, November 16, game will receive $2.00 admission.