ECU women drop hoops season opener at Middle Tennessee

ECU Pirates

Tylar Bennett (ECU Sports Information photo)

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Shots from beyond the three-point arc were the difference as the East Carolina women’s basketball team fell at Middle Tennessee 70-49 on Tuesday night.

How it Happened
The Pirates struggled on the offensive end in the first quarter, shooting just 2-of-10 (.200) from the floor and scoring five points. East Carolina trailed 15-5 after the opening 10 minutes.

The Pirates held Middle Tennessee to 4-of-13 shooting in the second quarter, but all four makes were triples for the Blue Raiders which combined with four free throws, helped Middle Tennessee extend its lead to 31-18 at the break.

A 5-0 run midway through the third quarter, fueled by back-to-back layups from Alexsia Rose and Raven Johnson, had the Pirates back within single digits at 36-27. But the Blue Raiders answered with a 16-2 run to close out the quarter and extend their lead to 52-29.

While the Pirates never cut the lead lower than 20 points in the fourth quarter, they did gain some confidence on the offensive end. East Carolina shot 8-of-17 (.471) over the final 10 minutes, led by Taniyah Thompson’s seven points, and outscored Middle Tennessee 20-18 to make the final score 70-49.

Pirate Notes

  • Thompson led all Pirate scorers with 11 points while Synia Johnson led the Pirates in rebounds with six.
  • Alexsia Rose handed out a team-best three assists while Thompson led the Pirates with four steals.
  • East Carolina forced 29 Middle Tennessee turnovers, but scored just 20 points off those Blue Raider miscues.
  • Middle Tennessee shot 14-of-28 (.500) from beyond the arc compared to 3-of-16 for the Pirates. Courtney Whitson led the Blue Raiders in scoring, finishing with 21 points while Dor Sarr (18) and Courtney Blakely (14) were also in double-figures.
  • Five Pirates made their official debuts in the Purple and Gold, with Danae McNeal, Da’Ja Green and Tylar Bennett starting while Iycez Adams and Paige Lyons came off the bench.
  • Raven Johnson returned to the court for the first time since November 2019, having missed all but four games over the past two seasons due to injury.

Up Next

East Carolina will have a chance to bounce back quickly as the Pirates take on in-state foe High Point on Friday night. That game will tipoff at 7 p.m., at High Point’s Qubein Center.

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