Pirates Women’s Basketball Roars Back To Beat Tulane 53-50

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Despite trailing by 13 early in the fourth quarter, the ECU women’s basketball roared back to beat Tulane 53-50 on Saturday night in Minges Coliseum.

ECU (9-19, 6-9 AAC) was led by Lashonda Monk, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and nine steals. It is the second time in four games that Monk has racked up at least nine steals, making her the first player in ECU history with multiple nine-steal games in the same season. Dominique Claytor finished with her third double-double in four games, recording 10 points to go with 11 rebounds. As a team, ECU forced a season-high 34 Tulane turnovers and scored 34 points off those Green Wave miscues.

Tulane (12-16, 7-8 AAC) was led by Krystal Freeman, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds. No other Tulane player scored more than six points. The Green Wave had a massive 53-28 edge on the boards, scoring 14 points off second chances.

After a first quarter that was light on offense, the teams combined for just 19 points and did not score for the first three and a half minutes, Tulane began to exhert control on the game. The Green Wave started the second quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 19-10 lead. ECU fought back to trail just 25-21 at the half, but Tulane started the third on an 8-2 run to get the lead back to double-digits and led 41-30 after three quarters.

A Tulane jumper to open the quarter gave the Green Wave a 13-point lead. But the Pirate defense came alive and not only clamped down on Tulane’s offense, but also helped lead to ECU field goals.

ECU rattled off a 9-0 run over the next three minutes, highlighted by triples from Claytor and Necole Hope. Tulane finally ended the run when Freeman made a short jumper, but the Pirates again went on a run. Back-to-back field goals from Hope and Monk got ECU back within two and the Pirates took the lead when Monk turned a steal into an old-fashioned three-point play. Tulane turned the ball over immediately and Claytor was able to feed Monk for another fast-break layup, pushing the lead to 48-45.

Freeman got a layup on the ensuing Tulane possession to cut it the deficit to one, but both teams went cold. After Freeman’s field goal at 2:26, neither team scored for more than two minutes. The Pirate defense forced five straight turnovers while protecting that one point lead before Claytor finally got sent to the free throw line with 15 seconds to go. The junior guard made one of two, but the Pirates got an offensive rebound which led to a pair of free throws from Monk.

Despite leading by four with 14 seconds to go, ECU had to sweat out the final moments. Kaila Anderson made a three-pointer with three seconds remaining and Monk was then sent to the free throw line once again. Both of her free throws were good, giving ECU a 53-50 lead. Tulane had one final look to tie the game, as Anderson took a shot from more than three-quarters court that had the right trajectory, but hit the front of the rim and bounced away.

ECU finished 21-of-63 (.333) from the floor, 4-of-21 (.190) from three and 7-of-11 (.636) from the free throw line. Tulane was 21-of-56 (.375) from the field, 5-of-21 (.238) from beyond the arc and 3-of-9 (.333) from the charity stripe.

The Pirates will finish out the regular season on Monday night when they take on Cincinnati.

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