GREENVILLE, N.C. – Whitny Edwards notched her first double-double in a Pirate uniform, while Celeste Stewart led all scorers with 18 points in East Carolina’s 59-48 victory over UCF on Sunday afternoon at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates defense limited the Knights to just 28.6-percent shooting as ECU led by as many as 25 points in the contest.
The Pirates have won their fourth straight contest, for their longest winning streak of the season, and seven out of their last nine games to improve to 15-5 on the season and 5-2 in Conference USA action. With the loss, the Knights fall to 7-14 on the year and 1-6 in league play.
Stewart led the Pirates in scoring for the fourth consecutive game as she finished the contest with 18 points, three assists and one rebound while shooting 43.8 percent from the floor while connecting on four three-pointers on as many attempts. Whitny Edwards tallied 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds to go along with two steals, one assist and a 46.1 shooting percentage. Kristine Mial was the Pirates’ third double figure scorer as she turned in an 11-point performance with a season-best six steals. Additionally the junior forward contributed three boards and a pair of assists on 40-percent shooting. Defensively, ECU was led by Britny Edwards who turned in her second 15-rebound effort of the year. The redshirt senior also added four points, and an assist while shooting 50-percent.
East Carolina was on point from the start of the game as the Pirates took a 2-0 advantage on a jumper from Britny Edwards to start the contest and never looked back. The Pirates used a balanced offense to take a quick 9-2 lead at the 15-minute mark and pushed their lead to as many as 19 points on two occasions in the first half. The ECU defense was stout as it limited the Knights to just 21.7-percent shooting in the frame, while only allowing five field goals and one three-pointer. At halftime the Pirates led by double digits, 32-15, and Mial had already collected her 11 points and six steals.
In the second half, the Pirate defense did not allow a three-point field goal in the frame, however the Knights managed to more double their point total from the first part of the contest as they accumulated 33 points in the half. The Pirates continued their hard-nosed style of play and Stewart tallied 13 of her 18 points in the second half, while the team out-rebounded the Knights 27-18. Despite UCF’s attempts at a comeback, ECU managed to lead by as many as 25 points (56-31) with 5:37 left to play in the game, and the Pirates ended the game with a 59-48 victory for their 15th win of the season.
Gevenia Carter led the Knights in scoring with 17 points to go along with six steals and two rebounds, while Erika Jones notched 11 points, a team-leading eight boards, three steals, two assists and one block.
ECU will look to extend its winning streak to five games when it travels to Houston to face the Cougars on Thursday, February 7, at 8 p.m. (ET).