GREENVILLE, N.C. – A large first-half lead was enough as the East Carolina women’s basketball held off Campbell 76-66 on Sunday in Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates improve to 4-3 on the season, pushing their record above .500 for the first time this season. Campbell drops to 3-3 on the year.
How It Happened
East Carolina had its best first quarter of the season, especially on the offensive end. The Pirates made seven of their first eight shots, jumping out to a 17-7 lead. The offensive onslaught continued with ECU finishing the first quarter shooting 12-of-17 (.706) from the floor and 3-of-4 (.750) from beyond the arc. Da’Ja Green and Taniyah Thompson both had eight points in the frame while Alexsia Rose and Xianna Josephs each had five, helping to stake East Carolina to a 29-16 lead after one.
While the Pirate offense came back to earth, with ECU shooting just 7-of-16 (.438) in the second quarter, the Pirate defense helped pad the lead. ECU forced five Campbell turnovers, scoring seven points off those miscues, while outrebounding the Camels 11-5. Thompson added another six points to lead East Carolina and the Pirates led by at least 20 at halftime for the second straight game, this time at 47-27.
Unlike the victory over Coppin State, which saw East Carolina cruise in the second half for a 31-point victory, Campbell clawed its way back into the game. The Camels cut into the East Carolina offense mainly thanks to the three-ball. Campbell shot 8-of-17 (.471) from the floor in the third, but all eight of those field goals were triples with Campbell missing just twice from three. Luana Serranho and Faith Price each shot 3-of-3 from deep, helping Campbell cut the lead to just 60-51 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pirates quickly pushed the lead back to 13 thanks to buckets from Raven Johnson and Green, but Campbell steadily cut the deficit. Another three-pointer by Price with 2:41 remaining followed by a Pirate miss saw Campbell take the ball trailing just 2:41.
From there though, the Pirates made the plays to regain control of the game. First, Chambers swatted a driving layup by Price. After a Pirate rebound, Rose drove into the lane and dumped a pass to Chambers who made the ensuing layup. Rose then iced the game when she buried a pull-up from the free throw line. Chambers added another block and then a layup with less than 30 seconds to go, making it a 76-66 final score.
For the fourth time in seven games, Thompson led the Pirates in scoring, finishing with 19 points as well as grabbing three steals.
On her birthday, Green had her best game as a Pirate, scoring a season-best 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds while handing out four assists. The Pirates were +21 in her 30 minutes on the floor.
Rose and Josephs were the top two scorers off the bench, finishing with seven points apiece. Rose also added three steals and seven assists.
Chambers became just the eighth Pirate to record at least five blocked shots in a single game, as she had five rejections to go with seven points and four rebounds. It is the 13th time overall that an ECU player has had five swats.
The Pirates had 13 steals and forced 20 Campbell turnovers, scoring 26 points off those Camel miscues.
The Pirates shot 30-of-55 (.545) from the floor, the best shooting percentage for an ECU squad since shooting 42-of-74 (.568) against Greensboro in the 2016-17 season opener.
Coach Kim McNeill and Da’Ja Green on the victory
The Pirates will start December with a trip to VCU on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., at VCU’s Siegel Center.