GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team used a 17-0 run to open the fourth quarter to blow past the Temple Owls, 67-52, Wednesday evening in Minges Coliseum.

Amiya Joyner had another phenomenal game to lead the Pirates with 23 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, including a purely dominant performance in the fourth quarter.

The prohibitive favorite in the race for American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Joyner’s raw talent was on full display as she racked up her ninth double-double of the season – the most ever by an ECU freshman since records became available in 1976. The Farmville native compiled nine points and six boards in the fourth quarter alone, including an electric and-one finish with 5:07 to play in the game which capped that remarkable 17-0 run to open the quarter.

Brittany Garner was assessed a technical foul in the aftermath of the play and the Pirates (16-8, 7-4 AAC) were ahead for good.

It wasn’t a sure thing that the Pirates would take the victory, though. Temple (10-13, 5-6 AAC) came into the game playing their best basketball of the year and led by three after the third quarter thanks to some electric play from Garner and Aleah Nelson. Temple put up 23 points in that third period to run out to the lead but the smothering ECU defense – under whom a fire had been lit in the quarter break by coach Kim McNeill – held the Owls to a mere seven points in the fourth.

Leading that charge as she almost always does was Danae McNeal. McNeal finished with 17 points and a trio of steals on the day. The three steals are misleading, however; the senior seemed to get a hand on every pass which came her way in the fourth quarter and proved once again her defensive prowess against any unwitting opponent who deign to challenge her. For rare viewers of East Carolina women’s basketball may this game serve as a microcosm of McNeal’s candidacy for AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

It would be easy to think that Joyner and McNeal went it alone with those statistics, but they did not. Synia Johnson scored nine points with six boards; Micah Dennis added four points, seven rebounds and three assists; and Morgan Moseley added eight points, five rebounds and three steals of her own.

As a team, the Pirates turned the Owls over 16 times with 12 steals and 15 points off turnovers. The home team also racked up 40 points in the paint.

Up Next
The Pirates return home on Sunday at 2 p.m. as they welcome the Wichita State Shockers into Minges Coliseum.