GREENVILLE, N.C. – Britny Edwards scored a game-high 16 points and 14 rebounds for her second double-double of the year to help lift East Carolina over Norfolk State, 54-46, to open the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Minges Coliseum.
Britny Edwards added three blocks and two assists in the contest. Ariana Jackson came off the bench to notch a 15-point performance. Jackson also contributed eight rebounds, three assists, two steals in her break out performance after sitting out all last season due to a knee injury. Whitny Edwards tallied double-figures in rebounds with 10 and added seven points with two assists. Senior Celeste Stewart tallied nine points, with five boards, three assists, and two steals.
The Pirates took a 3-2 lead off the hands of Stewart to start the game. The contest was close to start, but Britny Edwards tallied back-to-back jumpers to put ECU up for good, 7-4. From there, the Pirates defense limited the Spartans to just five points over the next eight minutes, while the ECU offense posted a balanced attack to secure a 19-9 lead at the 10:56 mark of the first half. The Pirates extended their lead to as many as 12 (21-9) after a Jackson jumper, but the Spartans fought back and eventually cut East Carolina’s lead to six (26-20) going into halftime.
The second half started with a pair of layups from Norfolk State to cut the Pirates’ lead to two, 26-24. Holding just a one-possession lead, ECU’s offense surged ahead as the Pirates went on an 11-2 run to take a 37-26 advantage. Norfolk State would not back down as it continued to chip away at the Pirates’ lead and eventually came within three (43-40) with just 4:33 left in the game. With the pressure on, the Pirates used a Whitny Edwards trey to get things going and pushed their lead back to double-digits (50-40). East Carolina would go on to win the contest by eight, 54-46, and improve to 4-1 on the season, while Norfolk State fell to 1-3.
As a team, the Pirates shot 31.3-percent and notched 47 rebounds with 16 assists in the contest, while forcing the Spartans into 17 turnovers. Norfolk State shot 33.9-percent from the field in the game.
Norfolk State had three players in double-figures as Aivah Parham notched 12 points, Kashay Barnes recorded 11, and Quineshia Leonard tallied 10.
East Carolina will conclude the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament with a 4:30 p.m. tip-off against Campbell on Sunday, Nov. 25.