GREENVILLE, N.C. – In one of its most dominant efforts of the season, the ECU women’s basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 78-56 win over Wichita State on Wednesday night inside Minges Coliseum.
ECU (10-5, 1-1 AAC) were led in scoring by Lashonda Monk and Alex Frazier. Monk finished with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting and shot a career-best 4-of-9 from behind the three-point arc. Monk also added five steals and four rebounds. Frazier tallied a career-high 17 points on an efficient 8-of-14 from the floor and had four assists as well.
The Pirates led Wichita State (7-8, 0-2 AAC) wire-to-wire mainly thanks to their defense. ECU scored the game’s first seven points, all of which came before Wichita State even attempted a shot. ECU opened the game with a three-pointer from Monk and then a Raven Johnson steal led to a Monk layup. After another Wichita State turnover, Destiny Campbell was fouled and hit both free throws.
In the second quarter, Frazier and Monk carried the ECU offense. With the Pirates leading 14-10 after one, Frazier helped extend the lead. First the senior guard hit a layup after Desiree Corbin kept the ECU possession alive with an offensive rebound. Frazier then picked off a Shocker pass and was fouled on her ensuing layup. Frazier finished through the contact and then completed the three-point play with the free throw. Monk kept the ECU run going with a free throw two possessions later. Although Wichita State stopped the 6-0 run with a layup, Frazier found Monk alone on the wing and Monk buried a triple to extend the lead to 23-12.
The Pirate lead ballooned to 27-12 after consecutive layups by Frazier and Johnson. Wichita State fought back with a 7-0 run of its own. Once again it was Monk who came through on the offensive end, hitting a jumper to end the run. The Shockers hit a final layup to trim the ECU lead to 29-21 at the half.
The third quarter was the difference as ECU played its best period of the season. Monk came out of the locker room firing, hitting threes on consecutive possessions. The two teams traded baskets until the final two minutes of the quarter. With ECU leading 46-33, the Pirates went on a 13-0 run to end the quarter. The Pirate run was fueled by layups, with Corbin, Salita Greene and Justice Gee all getting to the bucket while Ariyana Williams made a pair of layups. In the quarter, ECU shot 11-of-20 (.550) from the field and 3-of-6 (.500) from three. The Pirates outscored Wichita State 30-12 in the frame, the highest scoring period for ECU this season.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates shot well enough to maintain their lead, never allowing Wichita State closer than 16 points. Gee finished as the team's leader in assists, passing out five dimes. Johnson, Corbin and Gee all finished with eight rebounds to lead the Pirates.
For Wichita State, Carla Bremaud was the only Shocker in double figures, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-14 (.500) shooting and 4-of-8 (.500) from behind the three-point arc. Wichita State forced 25 ECU turnovers, a season-high for the Pirates.
With the win, acting head coach Nicole Mealing earns the first win of her career. It also marks the first time that ECU has started 1-1 in the AAC, after starting 0-2 during its first four seasons in the conference.
The Pirates finished the game shooting 31-of-67 (.463) from the field, 7-of-20 (.350) from three and 9-of-13 (.692) from the free throw line. The Shockers shot 22-of-58 (.379) from the field, 7of-18 (.389) from three and 5-of-9 (.556) from the charity stripe. ECU held a huge 48-28 advantage in the rebounding battle and outscored Wichita State 40-18 in the paint.
ECU will continue its homestand on Saturday afternoon when the Pirates host Tulsa. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m., inside Minges Coliseum.