MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – With another strong fourth quarter effort, the ECU women’s basketball team beat Longwood 61-52 on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Carolinas Challenge.
Hope’s Perfect First Quarter
Coming into the game, ECU had struggled in games away from the friendly confines of Minges Coliseumm, losing both games and shooting just 25.7% from the field. But on Thursday night, Necole Hope looked very comfortable playing in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The sophomore guard scored ECU’s first nine points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting. Along with Hope, Desiree Corbin added four points while Jade Lewis added a lay-up. But despite Hope’s quick start and a 9-3 edge on points off turnovers, ECU and Longwood were tied 15-15 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, the Pirate defense took over. ECU did not allow Longwood to score for the first 5:02 of the period and the first Lancer field goal did not come until the 6:19 mark of the quarter. ECU took advantage by going on a 10-0 run. Longwood battled back to get within two, but Raven Johnson canned a three as time expired, giving ECU a 30-25 lead at halftime. In the second frame, ECU held Longwood to just 27.3% shooting and forced nine turnovers.
Up and Down Third Quarter
While the Lancers continued to struggle from the field, Longwood got back into the game by getting to the free throw line. Longwood went 7-of-7 from the charity stripe in the third quarter, helping Longwood take its first lead of the game at 37-36. Longwood extended its lead to 43-40 with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter. An Ariyana Williams three tied the game and then Jade Lewis scored on a put-back while getting fouled, with Lewis hitting the ensuing free throw. After a Longwood basket, Corbin added a free throw and then Justice Gee finished the quarter with a strip and score, giving ECU a 49-45 lead heading into the final quarter.
Lockdown Defense Part Two
Longwood scored three of the first five points of the final quarter, with just a Lashonda Monk layup stopping the Lancer run. After that though, the Pirate defense once again helped ECU go on a scoring run. A Monk steal led to a Lewis three-pointer. After a stop, Monk found Williams cutting for a lay-up. The lead extended to double-digits when Monk hit a jumper after Salita Greene pulled down an offensive rebound. The 7-0 came as ECU did not allow Longwood to score for more than five minutes. Monk added a lay-up off a Greene steal and a final free throw to make the final margin of 61-52. ECU held the Lancers to just seven fourth-quarter points.
Inside the Box Score
Monk led the Pirates with 13 points while Lewis added 10 points…The Pirates forced 25 turnovers and scored 25 points off them…For the second straight game, ECU won the rebounding battle, this time controlling the glass 44-40, including 23 offensive rebounds…Raven Johnson had a team-high nine rebounds, while Lewis had eight…Monk finished with five assists and five steals…Hope (9 points) and Corbin (5 points) both had season-high point totals, with Corbin’s also a career-high.
Dayna Rouse had a team-high 17 points and added eight rebounds. Kristina Antonenko had nine rebounds while Mallory Odell added eight boards. Stephanie Guihon had 11 points.
ECU plays its second game of the Carolinas Challenge on Friday night against South Carolina State. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., inside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.