TULSA, Okla. – East Carolina could not overcome Tulsa on its home floor Wednesday night, falling to the Golden Hurricane 68-54 in an American Athletic Conference contest inside the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Pirates (5-8, 3-5 AAC) lost their fifth straight decision while Tulsa (4-5, 3-5 AAC) snapped a modest two-game skid.
Lashonda Monk posted her first double-double of the season, recording 21 points and a season-best 11 rebounds as well as pocketing four steals. Maya Mayberry also netted 21 points to lead three Golden Hurricane players in double figures. A pair of Tulsa players in Desiree Lewis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Jessika Evans (11 points, 14 rebounds) ended up with double-doubles.
The Golden Hurricane enjoyed a 46-34 advantage in the rebounding column and scored 17 second-chance points to East Carolina’s five. Tulsa also knocked down 22 of 52 attempts from the floor to finish at 42.3 percent while also draining 18 of 22 (81.8 percent) from the free throw line. The Pirates shot the ball at a 31.8-percent clip (21 of 66) and were just seven of 12 (58.3 percent) from the charity stripe. East Carolina forced the Golden Hurricane into 22 turnovers and secured 14 steals as a result.
A couple of jumpers by Monk afforded ECU an early 6-3 advantage before Tulsa scored the next five to jump ahead by two. Monk would later cash in another jumper to put the Pirates back on top 12-9 at the 4:21 mark, but East Carolina scored just two points the rest of the quarter and allowed the Golden Hurricane to forge ahead 16-14.
The Pirates hung around in the first part of the second stanza, eventually tying the score at 23 on a Synia Johnson three with 4:52 on the clock. Monk gave ECU the lead at 32-30 with a triple at the 2:32 mark, but Mayberry responded with one of her own to propel Tulsa in front 33-32 at the break.
Monk exploded for 16 points in the first half while Mayberry scored eight. The Golden Hurricane out-rebounded the Pirates slightly, 18-17, while both teams combined for 23 turnovers.
A made jumper by Taniyah Thompson opened the third quarter and saw East Carolina lead by one, but an 8-0 Tulsa run helped the hosts seize control. The Pirates cut the Golden Hurricane edge down to three a couple times before Thompson nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull ECU within 47-45 heading into the final period.
A second-chance bucket by Evans stretched the Tulsa upper hand to seven at 54-47 with 7:43 remaining. However, the Pirates clawed back even with a 7-0 spurt fueled in large part by a Monk three to knot things at 54 at the 4:16 mark. As it turns out, ECU would not dent the scoreboard again as the Golden Hurricane tallied the final 14 points of the contest.
Up Next: East Carolina hosts No. 14 USF Saturday at 1 p.m.