RICHMOND, Va. – Four Pirates scored in double figures as East Carolina defeated VCU, 67-56, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. Celeste Stewart led all scorers with 15 points, while Whitny Edwards added 12, Kyani White posted 11, and Tatiana Chapple recorded 10.
Stewart turned in an excellent performance as she finished the contest with six assists, four steals, three rebounds, and a block to go along with her game-high 15 points. Whitny Edwards narrowly missed a double-double as she grabbed nine rebounds, three assists, and one block to accompany her 12 points. White was consistent on the floor as she added two assists, a pair of steals, and a rebound with shooting 80-percent from the field. Chapple was just one steal away from tying her career high as she notched four steals, three assists, a trio of boards and a block. Ariana Jackson came off the bench and tallied eight points, four rebounds, one assist and a block, while Janesha Ebron finished the game with five points, three steals, one block and an assist.
Despite falling behind early in the first half, 8-0, East Carolina (8-2) battled back with the help of four Chapple steals to even the score at eight. The Pirates momentum surged and ECU eventually took a 15-14 lead after Stewart drained a three-pointer at the 10:27 mark. She would finish the half with 11 points to lead all scorers. ECU and VCU (5-5) traded points in a back-and-forth affair before East Carolina finished the half with back-to-back buckets from Ebron and Stewart to give ECU a 33-29 lead. At the half, ECU had forced the Rams into 17 turnovers while the Pirates collected 12 steals.
The Pirates used a balanced offense in the second half to lead by as many as 17 (55-38) after ECU went on a 10-2 run. During that run, five different Pirates scored as ECU used a team effort to shoot 48.1-percent in the half while forcing VCU into 15 turnovers. Whitny Edwards led all scorers in the second half as she tallied nine points in the frame. Additionally, White notched seven points, while Britny Edwards registered five.
Although VCU began to rally as the Rams cut the Pirates lead down to six (62-56) with less than three minutes to play, ECU would not allow the host to come any closer. East Carolina closed out the contest making five of its eight free throws to defeat VCU, 67-56.
East Carolina finished the game with 18 steals and 19 assists, while forcing VCU into 32 turnovers. ECU recorded 35 points off of turnovers in the contest.
The Pirates’ next action pits them against No. 19 North Carolina on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.