GREENVILLE, N.C. – A dominant second-half performance helped the ECU women’s basketball team race to a 74-59 win over visiting Wichita State on Saturday afternoon.
ECU improves to 7-11 on the season and 5-8 in AAC play. The Pirates were led in scoring by Lashonda Monk who finished with 18 points, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc, to go with five steals. Taniyah Thompson added 16 points of her own and tied her career-high with four steals. Sierra DaCosta was the third Pirate in double-figures, scoring 10 points. ECU played 10 players on the day and every single one of them scored at least one point.
If someone just looked at the first-half shooting numbers, Wichita State appeared to have the edge. The Shockers shot 45.8% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes while ECU went into the halftime locker room shooting just 24.2%. Asia Strong did most of the damage for the Shockers, scoring 14 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting. However, the Pirate defense kept ECU in the game as the Pirates forced 16 first half turnovers which turned into nine ECU points. That defensive effort was a major reason the game was tied at 26 at the halftime break.
In the third quarter, ECU’s defensive pressure ratched up another notch while the offense also came alive, mainly thanks to Thompson and Monk. The Pirates opened the second half on a 9-2 run, behind three points from Monk and four from Thompson. The run was momentarily stopped by a Strong layup, but the Pirates answered with an 8-0 run to push the lead to 43-30.
The backbreaker came soon after that. After a Wichita State layup ended the previous run, Monk raced down and splashed in a triple on the fastbreak. A minute later, Thompson cashed in a three-pointer of her own to push the lead to 17. Monk capped off the quarter with her third three-pointer of the period to make it 56-37 heading into the fourth quarter. In all, Thompson and Monk combined to scored 24 of ECU’s 30 points in the frame while the Pirate defense forced 11 more Wichita State turnovers and held the Shockers to just 11 points.
In the fourth, ECU had an answer for every Wichita State bucket. The Pirates never allowed the Shockers to get closer than 14 points, with Dominique Claytor scoring six points in the quarter.
ECU finished the game shooting 36.4% from the floor and 40.9% from beyond the arc. The Pirates also did a good job of getting to the free throw line, shooting 17-of-22 from the charity stripe. Wichita State held a 38-33 edge on the boards, but the Pirates forced 34 Shocker turnovers compared to just 16 miscues for ECU. Those 34 turnovers are the most for an ECU opponent since the Pirates forced 34 in a win over Tulane on Feb. 29, 2020.
The Pirates bench also outscored Wichita State’s reserves 23-13 behind nine points from Synia Johnson and seven from Alexsia Rose. Johnson set a new career-high by handing out six assists as well.
The Pirates will be back home on Wednesday night to take on Cincinnati. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m., inside Minges Coliseum with the game being broadcast on ESPN+.