WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – An early deficit was too much for the ECU women’s basketball team to overcome as the Pirates fell to Wake Forest 76-53 on Saturday afternoon.
The loss snaps a two-game winning streak for ECU and the Pirates are now 3-5 on the season. Wake Forest improves to 4-3 this year.
ECU was led by Lashonda Monk who scored 21 points for the second straight game and broke the 20-point barrier for the third time this season. Necole Hope also finished in double-figures, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high four steals. Katerina Tsineke led the Pirates with four rebounds while Dominique Claytor had three assists. The Pirates forced 24 Wake Forest turnovers and had 14 steals.
The Demon Deacons had four players reach double figures, led by Gina Conti’s 19 points on 6-of-6 shooting and 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Ona Udoh also shot a perfect 6-of-6, finishing with a double-double that consisted of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ivana Raca had 11 points and Raegyn Branch had 10 of her own while Alex Sharp grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. Wake Forest held a 49-20 edge on the boards and finished with 20 assists, with five players handing out three each.
ECU held a 6-5 lead at the 7:40 mark of the first quarter, but that was the last time the Pirates led. The Demon Deacons rattled off a 17-2 run to end the quarter, led by Conti who had nine points during the run. That made the score 22-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same for ECU. The Pirates scored the first five points of the period, with Hope and Evans both making field goals while Tsineke made a free throw, to cut the lead to just eight. However, the Demon Deacons finished the half on a 9-2 run as Raca scored six points in the frame. That put the lead at 39-19 at the half, the largest halftime deficit for ECU this season.
ECU came out of the halftime break looking to get back into the game and nearly did so thanks to Monk. The Pirates started the second half on a 12-5 run, with Monk scoring seven of those points to get back within 13.
Unfortunately, the Pirates could never get closer as the Demon Deacons continued to control the paint. Udoh scored eight points in the fourth quarter to close the door for Wake Forest.
ECU will finish out a three-game road stretch on Tuesday night when the Pirates head to Liberty. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., in Lynchburg.
Head Coach Kim McNeill on the loss: “Tonight obviously was not the outcome that we had talked about. But we’ll keep fighting. We’ll get back in the gym tomorrow for practice and we’ll respond from the performance that we had tonight.”
- Monk has now hit at least one three-pointer in seven straight games dating back to the win over USC Upstate.
- The 20 rebound for ECU are a season-low while the 49 boards for the Demon Deacons are the most for a Pirate opponent.