GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team, playing at home for the first time since Dec. 16, rolled past Marshall in the Conference USA opener for both teams as the Lady Pirates took a 70-47 decision inside Minges Coliseum Saturday afternoon. ECU is now 10-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play while the Herd drops to 7-6 on its campaign and 0-1 in C-USA action. Additionally, the Lady Pirates represent the first league program to collect its 10th win this season.
Senior Jasmine Young enjoyed a fine effort, completing her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 assists. The 15 points allowed her to pass Courtney Willis and move into sixth-place on the ECU career scoring ledger with 1,384. It was the second double-double of Young’s career and second for the team this season as fellow senior LaCoya Terry dropped 18 points and 11 rebounds on Mercer in the Bahamas. Additionally, the contest marked the first time this season that two Lady Pirates turned in double figures in rebounding, as sophomore Kim Gay and freshman Crystal Wilson had career marks with 12 and 13, respectively.
Marshall raced out to a 4-0 lead just seconds into the game, but East Carolina settled down and used an 11-4 run to take a three-point advantage at the first media timeout. From there, the Lady Pirates blitzed the Herd, using a 27-2 streak over the next 10 minutes to establish a huge cushion at 38-10. In that stretch, eight ECU players recorded points while the Lady Pirates allowed Marshall just two points as a team.
A layup by sophomore Allison Spivey would make the score 40-12 with 3:09 left in the stanza. Then, after two free throws by Alix Barnette, Young drilled a three-point basket with just two seconds remaining to put the Lady Pirates up 43-15 at the break.
Young and senior LaCoya Terry both produced double-figure scoring in the period, netting 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore Kim Gay was a force on the glass as well, picking up seven rebounds (all defensive). East Carolina was hot from the field, converting 14 of its 29 attempts for a percentage of .483 while holding the Herd to just six field goals and .207 percent efficiency with 16 turnovers. Marshall’s 15 first half points were the second fewest allowed by the Lady Pirates this season, as ECU limited Presbyterian to just 14 in the first stanza on Nov. 21.
The Lady Pirates continued their solid defense at the beginning of the second half, out-scoring the Herd 14-4 over four minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 57-19. Marshall’s offense would get stronger from there, as the Herd used a 7-2 run to slice their deficit to 59-26 at the second media timeout (11:36). The visitors would get three late field goals from Alyssa Hammond to close the final margin to 23 points as East Carolina coasted to the victory.
The Lady Pirates displayed a balanced attack, as 10 players scored in the contest. ECU also exerted itself on the glass, out-rebounding Marshall 49-31, including six offensive rebounds from Wilson. Additionally, the Lady Pirates helped themselves by firing at a .464 clip from the field while holding the Herd to only .305.
East Carolina now embarks on a three-game C-USA road stretch, which starts in Tulsa on Thursday, Jan. 8. The Lady Pirates and Golden Hurricane will battle inside the Reynolds Center beginning at 8 p.m. ECU will then close the weekend at SMU on Saturday before heading to Huntington, W.Va. for a rematch with Marshall on Jan. 18.