CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team fell to the Virginia Cavaliers 72-50 on Sunday in their first true road test of the season at John Paul Jones Arena in the team’s final game of the Cavalier Classic.
The first quarter, then ultimately the game, was one in which the Pirates (5-2) simply could not find a flow. A lengthy review which resulted in only a common foul on Synia Johnson did not help, as Virginia (8-0) came out of the pause with better execution and put on a 6-0 run to force an ECU timeout at 14-7 with under two to play in the period.
Morgan Moseley was a first-quarter bright spot for the Pirates, scoring six points without a miss from the field, including a pair of baskets after the timeout which cut the deficit to only three after a quarter of play.
It was Virginia who found their footing first in the second quarter, expanding their lead slightly before busting it open to an 11-point margin with a 48-second 7-0 run. The Cavaliers did so largely by out-rebounding ECU, including five on the offensive which led to 10 second-chance points.
The Pirates woke up late in the first half, however, making an 8-2 run of their own led entirely by Danae McNeal. McNeal scored all eight points, four of which came off of Virginia turnovers. McNeal would go on to lead the Pirates with 14 points on the game. ECU went into the break with a fighting chance down only 31-25.
The second half was a different story, but was reinforced by some of the same qualities which gave the Cavaliers their advantage in the first half. Virginia began to assert their dominance in the third quarter, showing the quality which had led them to an undefeated start to the season. It was a second half in which it seemed like a 50-50 ball simply refused to go the Pirates way. The team shot 2-14 from the field in the third as Virginia extended the margin to 21 at 53-32.
Though the score was closer in the fourth quarter, the story was much the same. The Pirates finally made a pair of threes thanks to Micah Dennis and Jayla Hearp but finished the game being outrebounded 56-25 and allowing 25 second-chance points.
The Pirates take to the road once again on Thursday, Dec. 1 for a 7 p.m. tilt with George Mason in Fairfax, Va.