GREENVILLE, N.C. – In the final game of 2021, the East Carolina women’s basketball team finished the year with a flourish as the Pirates beat UMES 85-57 on Tuesday afternoon.
East Carolina finishes its nonconference slate with a 7-6 record, including 6-1 at home while Maryland Eastern Shore drops to 4-8 on the year.
How It Happened
- Coming into the game averaging 12 points in the first quarter over her first three games, Taniyah Thompson did not reach that mark in the opening frame but the junior guard did score eight points, including knocking down both of her three point attempts. Thompson was not the only Pirate to shoot well early, as East Carolina shot 9-of-17 (.529) from the floor and 2-of-5 (.400) from three in the first quarter. But UMES kept right with the Pirates, with Amanda Carney leading the Shorehawks with nine points. At the end of the first, ECU’s lead was a slim 21-18.
- ECU added another 21 points in the second quarter, thanks to good ball movement and dominance in the paint. The Pirates had six assists on eight field goals in the second frame and outscored UMES 14-4 in the paint. Alexsia Rose handed out four of those assists while eight ECU players scored, led by five more from Thompson. On the other end, the East Carolina defense clamped down, holding UMES to 3-of-16 (.188) shooting and forced four turnovers. A 9-2 run to close out the half staked ECU to a 42-26 lead.
- Thompson and the Pirate defense combined in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Thompson scored 13 points in the third quarter, outscoring UMES 13-4 on her own. Meanwhile, East Carolina did not allow the Shorehawks to hit a single field goal in the frame, holding them to 0-of-10 shooting and allowing just four free throws.
- ECU rattled off a 13-0 run over the first five minutes and after two UMES free throws, the Pirates finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 66-37 lead.
- If there was one blemish on ECU on the day, it was the fourth quarter which saw the Pirates give up a season-high 27 points, as UMES shot 12-of-19 (.632) in the final 10 minutes. The bright spot on the other end was the three-point shooting with the Pirates knocking down 5-of-8 (.625) from beyond the arc. Danae McNeal and Rose each hit a pair while Paige Lyons knocked down one of her own.
- Thompson finished with 26 points and five rebounds. It is her fourth straight game with at least 20 points and the sixth time overall. She has also finished in double-figures in 11 of 13 games.
- Rose and McNeal both reached double-figures in scoring. Rose had 12 points to go along with a team-high six assists. McNeal had 10 points and added three rebounds.
- Raven Johnson made her first start since Nov. 12, 2019. The graduate student finished with four points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
- Tiara Chambers blocked two shots and moved into a tie with Gretta Savage for ninth all-time at East Carolina with 73 career blocked shots.
- The 85 points are a season-high for ECU as is the nine three-pointers.
Kim McNeill & Taniyah Thompson on the win
The Pirates will open conference play at SMU on Jan. 1. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 3 p.m., in Dallas.