GREENVILLE, N.C. – A frantic finish in overtime saw the East Carolina women’s basketball team hold on for a 61-59 victory over visiting Wichita State on Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum.
ECU improves to 9-14 on the season with a 2-8 AAC record while Wichita State drops to 11-11 overal with a 2-7 league record.
How It Happened
- Taniyah Thompson got East Carolina off to a hot start, as the junior guard hit a pair of three’s in the opening frame while Synia Johnson also added a triple. That helped stretch the lead to 13-5 in the early going, but Wichita State finished the quarter on a 5-0 kick to make it 13-10 after one.
- In the second quarter, ECU could not buy a bucket while Wichita State was red hot. The Pirates shot just 4-of-12 in the third, with Iycez Adams providing a boost by scoring four points. On the other end, the Shockers shot 10-of-14, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Wichita State closed the half on a 15-2 run to take a 34-21 lead at the break.
- ECU needed a spark in the third quarter to prevent the game from getting away from them. That spark came in the form of stout defense and the offensive prowess of Thompson. ECU held Wichita State to just 2-of-18 (.111) shooting in the third. On the other end, Thompson scored eight points thanks to four free throws while Tylar Bennett chipped in four of her own. That helped the Pirates cut the lead down to a manageble 42-38 heading into the final quarter.
- It did not take long in the fourth for the Pirates to retake the lead. Bennett got a put back and then a three from Da’Ja Green made it 43-42 in favor of ECU. That set off a fourth quarter that contained four lead changes and three ties. First, Wichita State grabbed a four point lead. But the Pirates answered with five points by Thompson and a layup from Morgan Moseley to take a three-point lead. Wichita State outscored ECU 5-1 at the free throw line over the next four and half minutes, which left the teams all square with 30 seconds remaining. Wichita State came out of a timeout and ate up clock before Nhug Bosch Duran got free and canned a triple, her fourth of the night.
- Deja vu set in for the Pirates, as they trailed by three with under 10 seconds remaining for the second straight game. Just like it did on Sunday, ECU ran a play for Thompson to get a look from beyond the arc and just like Temple did, Wichita State fouled Thompson, sending her to the line for three shots. However, unlike the Temple game in which Thompson went 2-of-3 at the line, the junior guard buried all three to tie the game. The Shockers had one more chance to take the lead, but a block by Bennett sent the game to overtime.
- Early in the overtime period, the Pirates took control as Johnson made 5-of-6 from the line to make it 59-54 with 2:22 remaining. But this game had one more twist in it as the Shockers got a pair of free throws from Seraphine Bastin and a triple from Mariah McCully with 52 seconds left to tie the game once again. On the Pirates next possession, the shot clock was running down and Green pulled up for a jumper. Her attempt rolled off the rim, but Thompson was there to put it back up and in. Wichita State again had the ball looking to send the game to a second overtime, but Bennett got her second clutch block to close out the nailbiting victory.
- Thompson finished with 29 points for the second straight game. She also extends her streak of double figure scoring games to 14 straight games and 21 of 23 games overall.
- ECU is now 9-0 this season when scoring at least 60 points. It was also the first win this season for the Pirates when they trailed heading into the fourth quarter.
- It was the first overtime game in charge for head coach Kim McNeill and the first overtime game since March 8, 2019 in which the Pirates topped SMU in the AAC Championship First Round.
The Pirates will be back home on Sunday to host Memphis. Tipoff is scheduled for 12 noon in Minges Coliseum.