NEWARK, Del. (ECU Media Relations) – Jada Payne posted her third-straight double-double with 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, as the East Carolina women’s basketball team never trailed in a 68-58 road win at Delaware on Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Payne shot 8-for-15 overall and now has four double-doubles in the Pirates’ first five games of the season and 15 for her career. Senior forward I’Tiana Taylor recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while chipping in three assists and two blocks. Junior point guard Khadidja Toure scored a career-high 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point range and snared three streals.
East Carolina (5-0) played stingy defense from the opening tip, as Laramie completed a three-point play at the 7:38 mark and connected on a floater two minutes later to push the lead to 7-1 at the first media timeout with 4:47 to play. The Pirates pushed their lead to as many as 10 with the score 18-8 after Payne executed a three-point play of her own with 58 ticks remaining on the clock.
Holding an 18-12 going into the second quarter, ECU continued the efficient shooting performance and remained active on the defensive end, as Payne earned her double-double with approximately four minutes remaining in the period on her 10th rebound.
Taylor made a layup with 2:37 remaining to force Delaware (2-1) into calling its first timeout with the Pirates holding their largest lead of the half, 37-22. Toure sunk three shots from beyond the arc in the quarter, with the final conversion coming as the halftime buzzer sounded to give her team a 40-24 advantage heading into the locker rooms.
ECU shot 15-for-35 (.429) from the field, 4-for-9 (.444) from three-point range and 6-for-11 (.545) at the foul line in the first half, while the Blue Hens went just 7-for-26 (.269) from the floor, missed all five attempts from deep and connected on 10 of 13 (.769) free throws.
Toure drained her fourth three of the contest on East Carolina’s first possession of the second half, before the Pirates generated their largest lead of the game at 21 points with 8:53 after a Taylor layup made it 45-24. Delaware would come alive as ECU went through a cold spell that lasted 5:38 until Taylor’s bucket with 1:00 left in the quarter.
Holding a 54-40 lead, the Blue Hens stormed back by cutting its deficit to single digits, as Payne’s layup with 5:32 left on the game clock marked ECU’s first basket of the fourth quarter.
Delaware crept within two points on an Alecia Bell layup with 2:25 to go in the game, but Toure’s fifth three-pointer, followed by a steal and layup, pushed the Pirates’ lead back to seven, 64-57, with 1:23 remaining. Three more Payne free throws and one last by Toure capped the 10-point victory.
ECU shot 24-for-60 (.400) overall, 6-for-17 (.353) from beyond the arc and 14-for-28 (.500) at the free throw line, while Delaware finished 17-for-52 (.327) from the floor, 1-for-8 (.125) from three and 23-for-33 (.697) at the stripe.
East Carolina returns to action against Creighton on Thanksgiving Day with the first of three games at the Lone Star Showcase in Austin, Texas on Nov. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (ET).