ORLANDO, Fla. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team defeated the UCF Knights, 68-54, Saturday in Addition Financial Arena. The Pirates were led by Danae McNeal with 27 points and four steals. The victory was ECU’s first over the Knights since Jan. 7, 2016.
East Carolina (15-8, 6-4 AAC) set the tone in the first quarter by holding the Knights (10-10, 1-7 AAC) to a mere six points while McNeal scored eight of her own, leading by two at the break.
After a comparatively even second quarter the Pirates methodically worked to push the lead to 21 at the end of the third quarter. McNeal had another strong quarter while Morgan Moseley swished home her first three of the season, and an emphatic Amiya Joyner block seemed to take what little air was left out of UCF.
Speaking of Joyner, she moved up several spots in the freshman rebounding rankings, passing 1982 All-America Mary Denkler and Tracey Kelley to get to fifth on the all-time list. The freshman forward also recorded her eighth double-double of the season in the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
For her part, Moseley had a strong day, taking two charges – which has become a signature for the junior forward – to go with her 11 points and seven rebounds.
UCF was led by Destiny Thomas with 14 points and 15 rebounds. The Knights did make a run at it in the fourth quarter, knocking down four threes and closing the gap to as low as the final margin of 14.
Ultimately the Pirates defense proved too much, though, as the Knights turned the ball over 22 times leading to 17 points off turnovers.
For fans of niche-adjacent stats, McNeal missed a rare free throw in the game, breaking a streak of 33-consecutive makes. The streak was the longest since Jada Payne hit 35 in a row in 2013-14.
The Pirates return home on Wednesday as they host the Temple Owls at 6 p.m. in Minges Coliseum.