MIAMI, Fla. - Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice scored a career-high 31 points in East Carolina's 76-75 overtime loss at FIU on Saturday night. With the loss, the Pirates drop to 13-2 (1-1 C-USA) on the year, while the Panthers move to 7-8 (1-1 C-USA).
In addition to leading the Pirates' offense, Trice also added a game-high four steals, four rebounds, two assists and one block in the loss. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw tied her career-high with 10 rebounds while also contributing a game-high four blocks and as many points. Senior forward Kristine Mial recorded 13 points, while redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne turned in an 11-point performance. Junior guard Janesha Ebron dished out a game-high seven assists to go along with four boards, two points and one steal.
Despite holding the edge in rebounds, 43-39, East Carolina was out-shot by FIU 42.4-percent to 36.8 in the game. The Pirates recorded 10 steals in the contest, while limiting the Panthers to five.
ECU started the game on an 8-0 run as the Pirate defense held the Panthers scoreless until the 16:24 mark of the first half when FIU's Taylor Shade drained a three-pointer to get the Panthers on the board. The Pirates led by as many as 10 (15-5) in the opening frame, however FIU rattled off 10 unanswered points to take a 21-20 advantage over ECU with 8:51 on the clock. From that point on, it was a back-and-forth affair that saw six leads exchanged before ending the half in a 35-35 tie.
In the first half, East Carolina went 9-for-9 from the free throw line, while FIU shot 46.2-percent from the floor. Trice tallied 16 of her 31 points in the first 20 minutes of action, while Shaw collected five rebounds and three blocks in the frame.
The second half started out as a defensive battle as neither team scored a field goal for nearly three minutes. FIU broke the scoring drought as the Panthers scored nine straight points all off the hands of Jerica Coley to take a 44-35 advantage. After being held without a field goal for just over six minutes, Ebron registered a layup at 13:53 to spark a comeback by the Pirates. ECU chipped away at the Panthers' lead and with the help of a pair of three-pointers from Mial, the Pirates were able to tie the game at 52 at the 10:38 mark. As in the first half, the two teams fought each other for the remainder of the frame until they were deadlocked at 68-68 as the clock expired to force the contest into overtime.
FIU got on the board first in the overtime period, but East Carolina was quick to counter as the Pirates took a three-point advantage (75-72) on a layup by Trice followed by a pair of made free throws from Mial with just 1:36 remaining in the game. The Panthers cut the Pirates' lead to one (75-74) with less than one minute left to play on a jumper from Coley, but a pair of turnovers by the Pirates proved costly as Coley scored the game-winning layup with just 16 seconds left to play.
Coley led all scorers with 37 points to go along with six rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal. Tynia McKinzie added 14 points, while Shade contributed 13. Brianna Wright posted a game-high 11 rebounds, while adding eight points, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
East Carolina looks to get back on the winning track on Wednesday, January 15, when the Pirates head to New Orleans, La., to take on Tulane at 8 p.m. ET.