GREENVILLE, N.C. – Thanks to a dominant defensive effort, the East Carolina women’s basketball beat NC Central 75-34 on Monday night.
East Carolina improved to 5-5 on the season and the Pirates are 5-1 at home while NC Central drops to 0-7 this year.
How It Happened
- East Carolina could not have asked for a better start to the game and it all started with the defense. For the first time since NCAA women’s basketball switched from two halves to four quarters prior to the 2015-16 season, the Pirates pitched a shutout quarter, holding NC Central to 0-11 shooting and forcing 11 Eagle turnovers.
- While the defensive effort will get the headlines, the Pirate offense also came to play in the first quarter, especially Taniyah Thompson. Thompson scored right off the opening tip and grabbed the game’s first nine points. The junior guard finished with 13 points. East Carolina did a good job of sharing the ball, handing out six assists on nine field goals, with the Pirates shooting 9-of-19 (.474) from the floor and 8-of-12 (.667) from the free throw line. By the time the dust settled at the end of the quarter, ECU led 27-0.
- With the large lead, the Pirates took their foot off the gas in the second quarter. Thompson had six points and Tiara Chambers added four points, with ECU outscoring NC Central 10-9 in the second to lead 37-9 at halftime.
- East Carolina came out with a renewed energy in the third quarter, forcing 11 NC Central turnovers while shooting 8-of-16 from the floor. Danae McNeal had six points while Synia Johnson and Morgan Moseley had four in the quarter with ECU leading 58-24 heading into the fourth.
- The Pirate defense finished with a flourish, holding NC Central to 1-of-15 shooting in the fourth quarter. Morgan Moseley had four points and four rebounds in the framw while Paige Lyons handed out three assists.
- Thompson finished with a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds and two steals. It is her third game this season with at least 20 points.
- McNeal had 12 points on an efficient 5-of-9 shooting, adding three steals.
- Morgan Moseley and Alexsia Rose each made their first career starts and both finished +29 in 23 and 24 minutes respectively. Moseley finished with a career-high nine points and nine rebounds while Rose had six points, seven assists and three steals.
- Lyons set a new career-best with three assists while Laila Acox had a career-high six points.
- Da’Ja Green tied her career-high with four steals, leading the Pirates who finished with 22 as a team.
The previous lowest scoring quarter for an ECU opponent during the Kim McNeill era was Virginia, with the Cavaliers scoring two points in the first quarter on Nov. 29, 2020.
The 34 points scored by NC Central was the lost of the McNeill era and the least since giving up 33 against Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 9, 2014. The 37 forced turnovers were also a McNeill record and the most since forcing 41 against Virginia Intermont on Nov. 8, 2013.
For the second straight game, the Pirates finished with at least 50 rebounds, outrebounding NC Central 57-38, including 24-9 in offensive rebounds.
Morgan Moseley and Coach Kim McNeil on the win
East Carolina will have 10 days off before the next game as the Pirates will have time off for final exams. The Pirates will return to the court on Dec. 16 with a road trip to NC A&T.