GREENVILLE, N.C. – Whitny Edwards recorded a season-high 18 points, while Britny Edwards tallied her fifth double-double of the season as the twins helped lead East Carolina to a 71-64 victory over Elon on Saturday at Minges Coliseum. With the win, the Pirates improve to 9-3, while the Phoenix drop to 4-6 on the year.
Whitny Edwards led a trio of double-figure scorers as she notched a team-best 18 points while adding four rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Britny Edwards finished the game with 14 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, one block, and one assist. In just her second game back after sitting out the first 10 contests due to an injury, Kristine Mial poured in 14 points and added three boards.
After a 10-day hiatus due to winter break, the Pirates came out ready to play as they quickly jumped ahead of Elon, 10-2, in the first three minutes of action. Early in the first half, ECU held a steady lead as the Pirates led by as many as 13 (24-11) at the 12:34 mark of the first half. However, Elon would not go away quietly and the Phoenix battled back and cut East Carolina’s lead to five (26-21) with 9:58 remaining in the half.
A three-pointer from Mial would give the Pirates back their double-digit lead (31-21) and they would hold the Phoenix at arm’s length until the final minute of play in the frame. With 3:15 to go, the Pirates owned a nine-point advantage (39-30), but Elon closed the half on a 7-0 run to cut East Carolina’s lead to just two (39-37) at halftime.
Elon did not lose momentum during the break in action as the Phoenix returned to the court and quickly tied the game at 39 on a pair of free throws from Kelsey Evans. The visitors would go on to take the lead after Evans connected on a pair of free throws. The Phoenix’s lead was short-lived as the Pirates battled back and took a five-point lead (48-43) after a jumper from Britny Edwards.
The Pirates were able to settle down and get back into the swing of things as they extended their lead to eight (57-49) on a jumper off the hands of Whitny Edwards. Despite their advantage, Elon again fought back and took a 60-59 lead over ECU with 4:03 left in the game. In the final minutes of the contest, the two teams traded points until Mial nailed a three with 2:49 remaining to put the Pirates up (65-62) for good. ECU held onto its lead and eventually won the game, 71-64.
Senior Celeste Stewart finished the game with nine points, three boards, two assists and a steal, while Ariana Jackson tallied eight points and five rebounds. Tatiana Chapple and Kyani White each contributed four points, while White led the team with a season-high nine assists to go along with four steals, one block, and a rebound.
Elon was led by Evans who recorded a double-double after leading all scorers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ali Ford recorded 17 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, while Kelsey Harris notched 11 points, eight boards, two assists, and a steal.
East Carolina will travel to Fairfax, Va., to take on George Mason on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. The contest at George Mason marks the last non-conference game before the Pirates enter into Conference USA action on Jan. 10, against Rice at Minges Coliseum.
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