GREENVILLE, N.C. – Five free throws by Lashonda Monk in the final seconds helped the ECU women’s basketball team hold off Monmouth for a 73-67 win on Friday night inside Minges Coliseum.
The game could not have started much better for the Pirates. ECU jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead, with Raven Johnson and Necole Hope burying threes along with layups by Desiree Corbin and Lashonda Monk. After Monmouth finally got on the board, the Pirates rattled off eight more points, including another Monk layup and jumpers from Destiny Campbell, Salita Greene and Tamia Hicks to take an 18-2 lead. In that span, ECU scored 11 of its 18 points off turnovers.
Monmouth Fights Back
After the fast start, Monmouth clawed back to 44-36 at halftime and then a 13-2 Hawks run early in the third quarter brought the ECU lead to just 54-52. A Jade Lewis three-pointer extended the lead to 60-53 heading into the fourth quarter, but Monmouth again tightened the score.
Back and Forth Fourth
After a more than five minute scoring drought to open the fourth and ECU clinging to a 60-59 lead, Monk picked off a Monmouth pass and then dished to Campbell who was fouled. Campbell buried both free throws and then hit a jump shot on the next ECU possession for a 64-61 lead. Hicks followed with a layup to stretch the margin to five. Monmouth answered with a pair of buckets of their own to make it 66-65.
“I think Coach (Nicole) Mealing made a great call,” said interim head coach Chad Killinger. “We were up one and she suggested that we go into a press. I told the team I give her play of the game because that’s not something I would have traditionally done. But we had forced a lot of turnovers. We forced 34 turnovers tonight and I said, ‘yeah, let’s do it’ because we thought we’d catch them off guard. We forced a turnover off of that and then we stayed in it.”
A layup by Johnson was answered by a Monmouth jumper to make it a one-point game inside a minute left. With the shot clock winding down, Monk drove down the right side of the lane and was fouled. The sophomore from Greensboro stepped to the line and knocked down both attempts to give ECU some breathing room. After an ECU stop, Monmouth was forced to foul Monk again and once again, she made both free throws. Monk added one more from the stripe with just six seconds remaining to close out the win.
Inside the Box Score
Four Pirates finished in double figures in scoring, led by Johnson’s 19...Destiny Campbell finished with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and finished with a team-high seven blocked shots. The seven rejections are tied for the third-most in a single game in program history, trailing only Marcia Girven’s 12 in 1977 and Ondrea Shaw’s 10 in 2014…Monk finished 9-of-12 from the free throw line and finished with 13 points, which is a new career-high in free-throws made in a single game…Greene led the team in rebounding, hauling in seven boards to go along with 10 points.
Sierra Green and Lucy Thomas both finished in double figures for the Hawks. Green poured in 19 points, making four shots from behind the arc. Thomas had 13 points and added 11 rebounds to complete the double-doubles.
ECU hits the middle of its season-opening five-game home stand by hosting Grand Canyon on Wednesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., inside Minges Coliseum.