FAIRFAX, Va. – East Carolina used a second half surge in which the Pirates shot 54.8-percent to cruise to a 71-53 victory over George Mason to conclude non-conference action. ECU was led by four Pirates who scored in double-figures in Whitny Edwards (17 points), Kristine Mial (15), Kyani White (10), and Celeste Stewart (10).
Whitny Edwards tallied her fourth-straight double-figure scoring contest as she led all scorers with 17 points. Additionally, the redshirt senior forward notched eight rebounds, three steals, and two assists while shooting 50-percent in the game. Mial finished the game with a season-high 15 points, two blocks, one assist, one steal, and one rebound. White turned in another impressive performance as she posted 10 points, four steals, four assists, and three boards while shooting 66.7-percent in the game and was a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. Stewart recorded 10 points, with a game-high seven assists, two boards, and one steal. Britny Edwards was the team’s leading rebounder with a game-high 11. She added eight points, two blocks, and an assist.
White got things started with a jumper at 18:20 to put ECU up 2-0. After George Mason took an 8-4 advantage, East Carolina went on an 11-0 run which was sparked by a three-pointer off the hands of White. During that 11-0 run, Whitny Edwards notched three consecutive buckets to give ECU its largest lead of the half.
Mason fought back and pulled within one (15-14), but Ariana Jackson and Mial tallied back-to-back buckets to extend ECU’s lead to five (21-16) with 6:10 remaining in the first half. George Mason again battled back and the two squads traded points in the final minutes of the frame. After Rahneeka Saunders recorded a layup to put the Patriots up 27-26 with just 30 seconds left, Mial countered and notched a layup of her own with just six seconds remaining to give the Pirates a one-point (28-27) advantage at halftime.
The Pirates shot 44.8 percent in the first half and tallied seven steals. White and Mial each registered seven points in the frame, while Whitny Edwards and Jackson contributed six each.
Despite a close score at halftime, the Pirates came out of the locker room and went on a 13-2 run to take a 41-29 lead at the 15:31 mark. East Carolina would never look back as the Pirates led by as many as 25 points (68-43) in the second half.
In the frame, ECU was led by Whitny Edwards who recorded 11 points as she connected on five of eight field goals. As a team, the Pirates shot 54.8-percent in the half, while their stout defense limited the Patriots to just 28.6-percent shooting.
The Pirates finished the game shooting 50-percent from the floor as they connected on 30 field goals on 60 attempts. Additionally, ECU collected 11 steals in the contest and grabbed 37 rebounds.
George Mason was led by Janaa Pickard and Joyous Tharrington who tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively. As a team, the Patriots shot 30.9-percent in the game and were unable to connect on a single three-point field goal.
East Carolina will begin conference play on Thursday, Jan. 10, when the Pirates welcome Rice to Minges Coliseum for a 7 p.m. contest. Live stats, video and a live broadcast will be available on ECUPirates.com.