GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Ebony Rowe scored 23 points, on 7-of-8 shooting, to lead No. 23/25 Middle Tennessee past East Carolina, 70-59 Wednesday night. The Pirate loss snapped a 26-game home winning streak as ECU has now dropped three consecutive contests.
Rowe made 9-of-14 free throws and moved into first place on the school's all-time list with 520 makes in her career. She also added six rebounds and five assists. KeKe Stewart (18 points) and Shanice Cason (16 points) also scored in double-figures for the Blue Raiders.
East Carolina (21-6, 9-5 Conference USA) was led by Jada Payne's 18 points. Payne also contributed six boards and two assists. J'Kyra Brown posted 10 points, five rebounds and one steal in the contest, while Janesha Ebron led the Pirates with a game-high six assists.
Middle Tennessee (24-4, 13-1 Conference USA) made just 18-of-45 field goals and 4-of-13 three-pointers but recorded season highs by making 30-of-50 free throw attempts.
East Carolina converted 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from the line.
The Blue Raiders took an early 6-2 advantage over the Pirates to open the game, but East Carolina quickly turned that deficit into a 16-8 lead after going on a 14-2 run. The Pirates pushed their lead to double digits, 21-10, at the 10:25 mark after a jumper from Payne. However, Middle Tennessee rallied with a 13-0 run to regain the lead, 23-21. The two teams continued to battle each other and East Carolina held a slight edge, 34-33, at halftime.
The Blue Raiders opened the second half with a 13-2 run as ECU made just 1-of-11 field goals, and committed six turnovers, in the first 10 minutes. The Pirates never threatened again as they fell to the Blue Raiders by a score of 70-59, their largest margin of defeat all season.
ECU looks to snap its three-game losing streak Saturday, March 1, when the Pirates welcome Tulsa to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. Live stats, video and audio will be available on ECUPirates.com.