GREENVILLE, N.C. – A bounce-back defensive effort from the East Carolina women’s basketball team helped the Pirates beat Cincinnati 71-48.
East Carolina improved to 8-9 on the season with a 1-3 AAC mark while Cincinnati drops to 7-9 and 0-4 in league play.
How It Happened
- The Pirate defense controlled the game right away, as ECU held Cincinnati to just 3-of-15 (.200) shooting in the first quarter and forced nine Cincinnati turnovers. But East Carolina’s offense was slow out of the gates as well, with Raven Johnson and Taniyah Thompson combining to score 13 of ECU’s 16 points in the opening frame. Alexsia Rose and Johnson each had three made free throws in the quarter, helping ECU take a 16-11 lead after one.
- While the ECU defense again had a strong quarter in the second frame, it was the offense turning that defense into points that helped the Pirates start to pull away. The Pirate once again held Cincinnati under 25% shooting in the frame, (3-of-13 for 23.1%) and scored seven points off seven Bearcat turnovers. Morgan Moseley and Synia Johnson were the main offensive contributors for the Pirates. Johnson had five points in an early 9-2 ECU run. Moseley finished with eight points in the frame, including burying a triple from the top of the key to finish the half, staking East Carolina to a 31-19 lead.
- Raven Johnson took over the game for the Pirates in the third quarter. The graduate student scored 11 points in the frame and she did it in a variety of ways. Johnson buried a pair of triples and also made three free throws. Rose provided a great supporting act for Johnson, adding five points of her own while helped ECU extend the lead to 51-35 heading into the fourth.
- The Pirates added even more to the cushion with a quick 6-0 run to start the quarter. Da’Ja Green dribbled into a jumper to start the run. After a Pirate turnover, Rose stole the ensuing Cincinnati possession and raced in for a layup, followed by Tylar Bennett picking off a Bearcat pass and feeding Johnson for a short jumper. That made it 57-35 in favor of the Pirates and Cincinnati never got closer than 20 points over the remaining eight minutes.
- It was the fourth 20-point game of Raven Johnson’s career and the first since she scored a career-high 24 points against Wake Forest on Nov. 24, 2018.Bennett finished with two points, five rebounds, four assists and six blocks. She becomes just the second player in East Carolina history with multiple career games of at least six blocks, joining Ondrea Shaw who had six such games in her career.
- Moseley finished with 11 points, reaching double-figures for the first time in her career, while also tying the team-high with six rebounds.
- Rose tied her career-high with 12 points while also adding four assists, four steals and four rebounds.
- Thompson finished with 13 points, her eighth straight game with at least 10 points and 15th in the team’s 17 games this year.
- East Carolina forced 31 Cincinnati turnovers, trailing only the 37 that ECU forced against NC Central while the 14 Bearcat field goals were the second-fewest by a Pirate opponent, trailing just eight for NC Central.
- ECU made 20 free throws, just the second time the Pirates have made 20 shots from the charity stripe after making 21 against Coppin State while the 29 attempted also trails only the 33 against Coppin State.
The Pirates will have another home game when they host Temple on Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., inside Minges Coliseum.