HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Whitny Edwards led ECU with 17 points, but the Pirates were unable to overcome a balanced offense from Southern Miss as the Golden Eagles defeated East Carolina, 75-66, at the Reed Green Coliseum on Thursday night.
In addition to her 17 points, Whitny Edwards added eight rebounds, three steals, one block and one assist. Kristine Mial also scored in double-figures with 11 points, while Britny Edwards led both teams with a game-high 12 rebounds. Ariana Jackson came off the bench and notched nine boards to go along with eight points and three steals. Celeste Stewart dished out a team-best four assists, five points, three steals, and one rebound.
The Pirates (21-8, 11-5 C-USA) got off to a slow start as the Southern Miss (14-15, 6-10) offense shot 61.5-percent from the first in the first half and limited ECU to just one three-point field goal on 10 attempts. The Golden Eagles went on a 12-0 run to take a 20-4 lead on East Carolina. Despite the Pirates' efforts, they were unable to get their offense going and they trailed by 18 points (39-21) at halftime.
Despite entering the second half down 39-21, the Pirates would not go away quietly. ECU was able to come within seven points on several occasions, but could not tie the game or take the lead. The Golden Eagles used 56-percent shooting in the second half and were led by a pair of 20-point performances from Jamierra Faulkner and Tanecka Carey. Southern Miss would go on to defeat the visiting Pirates by a score of 75-66.
Carey finished the contest with a game-high 23 points, three rebounds, two steals and a pair of assists. Faulkner tallied 20 points to go along with five assists, four boards and two steals. Niesha Pierce was the Golden Eagles' third double-figure scorer with 10 points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals and one block.
The Pirates next action will be at the Conference USA Tournament. ECU will await its seeding and opponent as the conference will announce the bracket on Saturday, March 9.