EL PASO, Texas – Britny Edwards recorded a double-double and four Pirates scored in double figures, but the East Carolina women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a second half rally by UTEP as ECU dropped an 81-66 decision to the Miners.
With the loss, East Carolina drops to 11-4 (1-1 C-USA), while UTEP improves to 14-1 (2-0 C-USA).
Britny Edwards registered 13 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists and one block, while Celeste Stewart notched 12 points, eight boards, five assists, one steal, and one block. Whitny Edwards also contributed 12 points and added four rebounds, while Kyani White tallied 11 points, two boards, a pair of assists and one steal. Tatiana Chapple turned in a solid performance with five rebounds, four points, one assist and one steal, while Ariana Jackson came off the bench and registered five boards, three points and a block.
The Pirates started the game well as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead. ECU led the entire first half as the Pirate defense limited the Miners to a 25-percent shooting clip. The East Carolina defense did not allow UTEP to score a field goal for nearly five minutes during the first half. The Pirates finished the first half on a 10-3 run as they took a 35-27 advantage into the locker room.
In the first half, ECU was led by Stewart who finished the frame shooting 50-percent from the field and collected eight points. Stewart added two rebounds and a pair of assists. White and Whitny Edwards contributed six points each in the half.
The break in action worked in the Miners’ favor as UTEP came out in the second half and knocked down six straight points to open the frame. The Miners shot 48.6-percent in the half, while the Pirates shot 33.3-percent and were forced into seven turnovers.
ECU held the edge on UTEP for the first nine minutes of the half, however, UTEP’s Kelli Willingham hit a three-pointer at the 10:47 mark to tie the game at 48. That seemed to be the turning point for the Pirates as they were unable to contain the Miners’ offense from that point on. The Miners used the last ten minutes of the contest to turn a deficit into a lead and eventually held off the Pirates, 81-66.
UTEP had five players in double figures in Kayla Thornton (21 points), Anete Steinberga (19), Willingham (15), Irene Gari (12), and Chrishauna Parker (12). Gari and Parker led the Miners in rebounds with nine each.
The Pirates look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Memphis for a Thursday evening contest. ECU and Memphis will meet on January 17, at 8 p.m. (ET).