Sahsha Taylor's 16 second-half points led to UNC Wilmington's 67-60 victory over East Carolina Thursday afternoon at Trask Coliseum. The loss drops ECU to 5-6 on the season while the Seahawks improve to 7-1.
The Lady Pirates opened the game on a 10-2 run, scoring eight unanswered points, sparked by three-straight baskets from LaCoya Terry. UNCW scored four straight to cut the lead down to four, 10-7, with 15:05 remaining in the half. Nicole Days' jumper at the 14:40 mark briefly stopped the Seahawks, but a pair of free throws from Shade Smith and a basket by Brittany Blackwell pulled UNCW within one, 12-11, with 13:15 on the clock. Back-to-back baskets from Terry and Lauren Cochran extended the ECU lead back out to five points, 16-11, with under 11 minutes to play. Cochran's put back with 8:30 remaining sparked a 10-3 run by the Lady Pirates to give them the 29-18 lead. UNCW scored seven points to end the opening stanza, with ECU taking the 30-25 lead into the locker-room.
Tiahana Bowens jumper to start the second half increased ECU's lead to seven before a three-point play by Days gave the Lady Pirates the 10-point, 35-25 lead with 18:56 to play. The Seahawks put together a 12-0 run over the next three and a half minutes, retaking the lead, 37-35, with 15:09 on the clock. Cochran's layup at the 12:05 mark tied the game at 38 a-piece, but a pair of Taylor free throws put UNCW back on top 40-38. Another Cochran basket tied the game again, this time at 40-40, with 10:26 left in the game. Taylor's jumper at the 10-minute mark put UNCW up 42-40, a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game. Bowen's free throws at the 7:51 mark pulled ECU within one, 44-43, but a 15-5 Seahawk lead gave UNCW the 59-48 lead, their largest lead of the game. A pair of Jasmine Young three-pointers cut the lead down to seven, 61-54, while Impris Manning?s free throws with just over a minute to play pulled ECU within four, 61-57. UNCW connected on five straight free throws to extend its lead out to nine with 20 seconds to play but another Young three-pointer pulled ECU back within six. Sheronda McLean's free throw with less than a second to play made the final score 67-60.
Taylor led all scorers with 24 points, while Blackwell added 15 and Greta Luskyte had 10. Taylor pulled down 12 rebounds for the double-double. Young had a team-high 15 points, including four three-pointers. Terry finished with 14 points, all of them coming in the first half. Manning grabbed a team-best ten rebounds. ECU, which shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, was held to just 29.4 percent in the second half.
East Carolina will take a week off for the holidays before returning to action on Dec. 29 as the team travels to Blacksburg, Virginia to participate in the Virginia Tech Classic. The Lady Pirates will face Georgetown at 3:30 p.m. on the 29th and will play either Furman or host Virginia Tech on the 30th.