GREENVILLE, N.C. – Behind 17 points from Whitny Edwards and 15 points from Kristine Mial, the East Carolina women’s basketball team held Memphis, the conference offensive leader, to just 18.5-percent shooting in the first half en route to a 69-52 victory on Sunday afternoon at Minges Coliseum on Senior Day.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 21-7 on the year, 11-4 in Conference USA action, and are 14-1 at home. The 14 wins at Minges Coliseum are a new program best for the Lady Pirates’ basketball program as they better the 1979-80 squad by one home victory. Memphis falls to 16-13 overall and 7-8 in league play.
Whitny Edwards’ 17 points was just one shy of her career-best mark. The redshirt senior forward also added six rebounds, four steals and three assists in the contest. Mial came off the bench and amassed 15 points to go along with seven boards, and two steals. Tatiana Chapple led ECU in rebounds with eight, while adding three assists. Britny Edwards tied her career high with five blocks, all of which came in the first half, and contributed seven boards, six points, and two assists. Celeste Stewart posted nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and tied her season-high with four steals.
The Pirates began the game with an offensive surge as they took an early 11-point lead (13-2), highlighted by a pair of treys from Whitny Edwards and a three-point field goal from Colleen Marshall, who finished the game with eight points. After a jumper from Memphis’ Nicole Dickson at 13:09, ECU went on an 11-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 20-point advantage (24-4). The Pirates continued to add to their lead and were up by as many as 24 (35-11) in the first half.
The ECU defense was stout as it held the Tigers to just 18.5-percent from the field and did not allow Memphis a three-point field goal in the frame. The Pirates, meanwhile, shot 41.4-percent from the floor and connected on 7-of-10 three-pointers for 70-percent shooting from beyond the arc. ECU went on to take a 38-17 lead into the locker room and halftime.
Memphis got things going in the second half as Dickson notched 16 of her 19 points in the frame. Despite the Tigers’ efforts, East Carolina would continue its hot-shooting as the Pirates shot 42.9-percent from the field in the second half. With the two teams’ offenses more evenly matched, the Tigers were able to pull within 12 on two occasions, but ECU would push its lead back up to 20 (69-49) in the final 1:31 of the game. Dickson hit a three-pointer with 1:03 remaining to make the final score 69-52 as the Pirates cruised to their 21st victory of the season.
As a team, ECU shot 42.1-percent from the field, 45-percent from three-point range, and 75-percent from the charity stripe. The Pirates held the edge in boards as they out-rebounded the Tigers 45-39. ECU collected 20 assists, while Memphis only tallied seven. Additionally, the Pirates’ bench outscored the Tigers’ 36-11.
Dickson led all scorers with 19 points and posted a team-high seven boards and four steals. Asianna Fuqua-Bey added 12 points to go along with five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The Pirates close out the regular-season at Southern Miss on Thursday, March 7. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. (EST) in Hattiesburg, Miss.