GREENVILLE, N.C. -Three Lady Pirates scored in double figures to lead the East Carolina women's basketball team to an 89-82 victory over #24 North Carolina State Sunday afternoon at Minges Coliseum. The win marks the first time in program history that the Lady Pirates have defeated a ranked opponent, and it is the first time since Feb. 2, 1982 that ECU has beaten the Wolfpack. ECU improves to 4-5 on the early season while N.C. State falls to 8-3.
East Carolina honored N.C. State head coach Kay Yow during the pre-game ceremonies as one of the "Top 100 Incredible Women of ECU". Yow, who is a 1964 alumnae of ECU, has over 700 wins in her coaching career.
The 2006-07 C-USA Championship team was also honored prior to the game, as the Championship and NCAA banners were unveiled prior to tip-off.
N.C. State jumped out to early 12-9 lead, with its first six points coming from Khadijah Whittington. State increased its lead to seven, 16-9, taking advantage of an ECU technical foul. The Lady Pirates responded, going on a 7-0 run, as Allison Spivey's three-pointer with 11:59 remaining in the half pulled the Lady Pirates within four, 16-12. LaCoya Terry's layup from a pass from Jasmine Young tied the game at 16 a-piece with 11:09 to play before a Sharnise Beal jumper put the Wolfpack back up by a deuce. Tiahana Bowen's jumper tied the game again, this time at 18-18, with 10:37 remaining in the half.
A pair of Young free throws with nine minutes to play gave the Lady Pirates their first lead of the game, 20-18, before Whittington's basket on the next possession tied the game again. Five straight points from Amber White put State up 27-22, with just under six minutes to play, but a Terry jumper cut the lead back down to three. A defensive rebound by Kim Gay led to a Terry trey to tie the game once again, this time at 27 all, with 5:38 on the clock. Four straight free throws by Gay gave the Lady Pirates their largest lead of the game, 31-27, with 4:39 remaining, forcing a North Carolina State timeout.
Gloria Brown's jumper at the 2:51 mark ended a four and a half minute drought for the Wolfpack, cutting the ECU lead to four, 33-29, before Gay's jumper put the Lady Pirates back up by six, 35-29, with 2:33 to play in the half. Shayla Field's jumper pulled the Pack within three, 35-32, with under two minutes to play. A pair of Terry free throws increased East Carolina's lead back out to five, 37-32. Beal's putback with a minute remaining cut the ECU lead down to three, 37-34, but N.C. State could not get a shot to fall in the final seconds of the half, as the Lady Pirates took the three point lead into the break.
Whittington opened the second half the way she started the game, scoring a quick basket, cutting the ECU lead down to one, 37-26. Back to back baskets by Nicole Days increased the Lady Pirates lead back out to five, 41-36, with 18:45 to play. State answered, scoring four straight points to pull within one, 41-40. Young's three pointer with 15:46 on the clock gave the Lady Pirates the 46-42 lead before back to back baskets by the Wolfpack tied the game at 46 a-piece with just under 15 minutes to play in the game. A Bowens putback gave ECU the 48-46 advantage with 14:32 remaining. A Field's basket tied the game once again, this time at 48 all, with 13:12 to play. Young's three-pointer at the 12:42 mark put the Lady Pirates back on top, 51-48, but Whittington responded, scoring a basket for the Pack and cutting the ECU lead down to one. Bowen's basket with 11:35 to play increased the ECU lead back out to three, 53-50, while a Days free throw made it four, with 11:02 remaining.
A pair of Spivey free throws gave East Carolina the five point, 56-51, lead with ten minutes to play in the game. Terry's free throws at the 9:50 mark gave the Lady Pirates their largest lead of the game, 58-51. A White layup on the next possession pulled the Pack within five, 58-53. Days' free throws with 7:52 remaining gave ECU the ten point, 63-53 lead. Young's three-point play with under seven minutes to play extended the Lady Pirates lead out to 13, 68-55. Young connected on her third three-pointer of the night, increasing the ECU lead to 15, 76-61, with 4:03 remaining on the clock. A pair of Field's free throws with 1:43 to play cut the Lady Pirate lead down to ten, 82-72. State forced an ECU turnover on the inbound pass, and Field's hit her first trey of the game, cutting the Lady Pirate lead down to seven, 82-75, with 1:41 to play. Terry's free throws with 1:32 to play pulled East Carolina back up by nine, 84-75, but a Nikitta Gartrell jumper cut the lead back down to seven, 84-77, with 1:24 remaining. Field's three-pointer with 32.4 seconds remaining cut the ECU lead down to five, but Impris Manning went to the line with 31.1 seconds on the clock and sank both to put the Lady Pirates up by seven. A Young steal with 20 seconds to play sealed the victory, as the Lady Pirates went on to win, 89-82.
Whittington led all scorers with 26 points and 17 rebounds. Young led ECU with 22 points and five rebounds while Terry notched 19 points and 10 assists. Days also scored in double figures, adding 13 points and six boards. ECU shot 52.1 percent from the field on the day, while shooting 64.2 percent from the charity stripe (34-of-53).
East Carolina will take to the road for their next seven games, traveling to Presbyterian on Dec. 18 for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. ECU's next home game is Jan. 18, 2008 against C-USA foe SMU.