GREENVILLE, N.C. – Three East Carolina players scored in double figures Sunday afternoon against Memphis but the Tigers built a second-half advantage that proved too much for the Pirates to overcome in a 69-56 loss at Minges Coliseum. ECU falls to 6-14 overall and 0-7 in Conference USA play while the Tigers are now 16-4 and 6-1.
Freshman Tatiana Chapple netted 10 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and three steals. She hit five of her eight shots from the field and was complemented by Kristine Mial and Celeste Stewart who also scored 10 points apiece. Additionally, Britny Edwards dished out four of the Pirates’ 14 assists – a season high for the junior.
East Carolina buried 21 of its shots from the field on 56 attempts for a 38-percent shooting mark while the Tigers ended up at 48 percent for the contest and hit 30 shots on 63 tries. ECU also nailed six three-pointers, marking the 62nd-straight game in which the Pirates have nailed at least two triples. Memphis finished the afternoon with a 39-34 rebounding edge as the teams combined for 30 offensive rebounds (16 for the Tigers).
Chapple gave East Carolina a quick 2-0 lead with a jumper in the paint, but Memphis responded with eight-straight points to stake itself to a six-point cushion at the 14:37 mark of the opening stanza. A Dana Jones layup cut the deficit to four temporarily, but Nicole Dickson hit a trey to cap a 9-2 run and afford the Tigers their first double-digit lead of the day.
Mial would answer with a three of her own as the clock showed 9:43, making the score 19-12, but Jasmine Lee went to work down low and stretched the Memphis advantage to 30-17 by dropping in a jumper with 4:29 remaining in the half. The margin grew to as many as 15 when Brittany Carter converted a layup as the clock ticked under a minute, but a Celeste Stewart three-pointer represented the final scoring of the period as the Tigers took a 36-24 lead into the locker room.
Lee led all players with 14 points and seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes while Stewart had seven for the Pirates. Memphis built a slight advantage on the glass, 16-14, and had 12 assists on its 16 buckets. The Tigers also helped themselves by hitting 53 percent of their shots while limiting ECU to 32 percent shooting.
A layup by Chapple early in the second half briefly cut the Memphis lead to nine, but the Tigers held East Carolina to just three points for the next four minutes and stretched the advantage back to 15. The Pirates had an answer, out-scoring Memphis 14-9 down to the 8:50 mark to bring the score to 57-45 but Nicole Dickson and Lee combined to score four-straight points and push the margin back to 16 with 7:11 remaining in the contest.
A running layup by Katie Paschal kept ECU in the contest and down just nine at 61-52 with four and a half minutes left. However, the Tigers scored eight of the last 12 points of the afternoon to post the final 13-point margin.
East Carolina remains at home for its next game, hosting Tulane Thursday, Feb. 2, at Minges Coliseum.