ECU Women Hold Off Bethune-Cookman

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Redshirt sophomore forward Jada Payne registered her second double-double of the season as the East Carolina women’s basketball team defeated Bethune-Cookman 58-49 Sunday. With the win, the Pirates improve to 11-1 on the year, while the Wildcats drop to 3-10.

Payne finished the contest with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds to go along with one assist and one steal. Redshirt junior guard Abria Trice was the Pirates’ other double-figure scorer as she posted 18 points while adding three rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Redshirt junior post Ondrea Shaw put up a career-best seven blocks to gain sole possession of second place in the ECU single-game record book. She also added eight rebounds, three points and a pair of steals.

The defensively charged game saw ECU shoot 33.1-percent from the field and Bethune-Cookman register a 29.8 field goal percentage. The Pirates forced the Wildcats into 21 turnovers and collected 10 steals. As a team, East Carolina posted 11 blocks to tie for third in the team single-game record book.

The Pirates got off to a slow start in the first half as the Wildcats took a five-point advantage (14-9) after a three-pointer from Deja Gibson at 10:02. East Carolina fought back and eventually tied the game at 18-all with 7:41 on the clock. The Pirates and the Wildcats exchanged leads five times and battled through eight ties in the first half, before ECU took a 28-27 lead on a Shae Nelson free throw. Payne knocked down a jumper and the Pirates led by six (35-29) with just 22 seconds remaining in the half and East Carolina went on to take a 35-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.

ECU held the lead throughout the second half and extended its advantage to as many as 10 (41-31) at 17:43 after a jumper from Payne. The Pirate defense controlled the game in the frame as they limited the Wildcats to just 21.2-percent shooting. East Carolina also held Bethune-Cookman to 18 points in the frame.

The Wildcats battled and cut the Pirates’ lead to four (43-39) after a trey from Chastity Rene Taylor at 13:18. However, ECU pushed its lead back to double-digits (49-39) on a jumper from Kristine Mial at the 10-minute mark. Bethune-Cookman refused to quit as the Wildcats pulled within five (51-46) with just over five minutes remaining, but ECU closed the book on the Wildcats as the Pirates finished the game on a 6-0 run to win, 58-49.

Bethune-Cookman was led offensively by Taylor who was the only Wildcat to record double-figures with 18 points. Kailyn Williams finished the game with a team-best nine rebounds, four points and three blocks.

East Carolina will travel to Charleston, S.C., on Thursday, January 2, when the Pirates take on College of Charleston at 7 p.m.