GREENVILLE, N.C. – Sophomore Ariana Jackson posted her first career double-double Monday to lead East Carolina past Virginia Union 102-64 at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates even their record to 2-2 while also picking up their 25th home victory of the season and 25th in the last 31 appearances.
ECU converted 12 three-point field goals in the contest, eight in the second half, setting a school record in the process. The Pirates also turned in the 20th 100-plus-point game in program history.
Jackson poured in 16 points and racked up 12 rebounds, both career highs, to lead four East Carolina players in double figures in the scoring column. Classmate Shala Hodges paced all scorers in the contest, matching her personal best with 17 and setting a career standard with five three-point field goals. Additionally, senior Allison Spivey tallied 12 and junior Ashley Clarke put in 11. Spivey’s three triples give her 151 for her career and put her just four from matching Tali Robich for fourth on the program chart.
Clarke flirted with the first triple-double in program history, adding eight rebounds and eight assists to her point output. She also committed a season-low three turnovers while pocketing three steals to bring her season total to 14.
After shooting 44 percent in the first half, East Carolina torched the nets in the second period - hitting 20 of their 29 attempts for a 69-percent showing. In all, the Pirates nailed 37 out of 68 field goals to produce a 54-percent mark from the field, representing the most made since last season against Houston-Baptist (40).
ECU forced 30 turnovers in the game, marking the second time in four games that an opponent has coughed up the ball at least 30 times (American, 36). The Panthers struggled from the field as well, knocking down just 13 of their 54 (.241) attempts. East Carolina grabbed 18 steals while turning the 30 miscues into 40 points.
The Pirates scored the first seven points, keeping Virginia Union off the board until Yuvonna Stevens hit a free throw at the 15:47 mark. With the score tied at 14-7 at the second media timeout (11:56), Spivey tossed in a three-pointer to ignite a 21-2 run that was capped off by another triple by senior Kim Gay to make the score 35-9.
The East Carolina advantage stretched to 30 by the end of the half, as seven different Pirates scored in the last 5:45. Hodges and Gay led the offense in the first 20 minutes with eight points each while Jackson pulled down the same number of rebounds.
Freshman Katie Paschal scored her first collegiate points on a nice move to the basket at the 15:14 mark of the second half, pushing the Pirates in front 66-25. Then, after sophomore Elaine Morgan made the score 70-29 with a steal and fastbreak layup, ECU would hold the Panthers scoreless for the next eight minutes while stretching the lead to 58 at 89-31.
The Pirates reached the century mark with 1:36 remaining when sophomore Celeste Stewart hit a three from the left side off a feed from Paschal.
East Carolina faces its first ranked opponent since the 2008-09 season (No. 18 Virginia) Friday, welcoming No. 21 Maryland to Minges Coliseum for the first contest of the Pirate Invitational. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 and the contest precedes the football team’s home matchup with SMU at 2.