GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team led it from the jump, using their squelching defense paired with their highest scoring output in two months to run past the Wichita State Shockers, 79-62, Sunday afternoon in Minges Coliseum.

Amiya Joyner and Danae McNeal did the things that have become their signatures for the Pirates: a double-double for Joyner, and a heap of steals for McNeal.

East Carolina (17-8, 8-4 AAC) led for 39:13 of gametime on Sunday, holding Wichita State (14-11, 4-8 AAC) to just five points in the first quarter. The Pirates never looked back from there, but really took the Shockers to task in the fourth quarter where the lead ballooned to as many as 19. 79 points was the team’s best output since Dec. 19 against North Carolina A&T.

The turning point in the game may well have been on what could have been seen as a negative for the Pirates: a Kim McNeill technical foul. With 6:20 remaining in the ballgame, the ECU head coach was rung up for arguing a foul call. The margin was nine at the time. The Shockers failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

Conversely, McNeill used the tech to fire up a rowdy crowd of 1,537 in attendance in Minges. Less than a minute later came the sequence of the game: a Jayla Hearp triple which led to a thunderous Joyner block. In all, the Pirates went on a 20-8 run in the aftermath of the technical foul to game and put a pesky Shockers bunch away for good.

Speaking of Joyner, the freshman failed to look her age again. The Farmville native racked up 21 points and 10 rebounds on the game, good for her 10th double-double of the season. With a trio of rejections on the day, Joyner also moves into sole possession of fourth on the ECU freshman blocks list.

Not to be outdone, McNeal led all scorers with her 22 points on the day, living in transition where she has been simply unstoppable of late. The Swansea, S.C. native showed why she is a frontrunner for AAC Defensive Player of the Year with five more steals on the game, moving into the top 10 in a single season in program history.

Speaking of history, the Pirates continue to make it. 17 wins is the most for the team since 2014-15 which was also the last ECU group to earn a WNIT bid. With four regular season games left of the calendar, the Pirates control their own destiny with the chance to finish as high as second in the conference after being picked last in the preseason.

Up Next
The Pirates hit the road for a game with the Cincinnati Bearcats on Wednesday at 7 p.m.