Jan. 3, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina jumped out to a 28-point first half lead and never looked back, topping the Thundering Herd women's basketball team, 70-47, in Saturday's Conference USA opener at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates (10-4, 1-0 C-USA) defense was the difference maker early on, holding Marshall (7-6, 0-1 C-USA) to just 15 points in the first half and a shooting percentage of just .207.
What looked like a solid start for the Herd turned into a rough first half that saw
East Carolina lead by as many as 28 points. Casey Baker and Tynikki Crook recorded a bucket apiece in the first minute to put the Herd up 4-0, but it was all Pirates from there.
With Marshall holding onto a 6-2 advantage, the Pirates would reel off 36 of the next 40 points on the way to a dominating 38-10 lead. It was a team effort for ECU, who saw eight players make their way into the scorebook during the run.
While cranking on all cylinders on offense, the Pirates played stingy defense, holding the Herd to just .207 shooting from the floor in the half. Marshall was held to just two points and no field goals over a 14-minute stretch in the first stanza.
Marshall closed slightly near the end of the half, closing to 25 before Jasmine Young, who notched 12 points in the half, hit a three at the buzzer to extend the lead back to 28 points at the half.
The second half opened up in the same fashion as the first half for ECU. After
Marshall scored the opening basket, the Pirates scored 14 of the next 16 points to open up a 38-point lead, 57-19. Down 59-21, Marshall closed the lead to 30, 59-29, on the strength of an 8-0 run. Freshman Alaya Mitchell provided the spark to the offense during that stretch, scoring six of those eight points.
A late scoring run by the Herd, helped by three Alyssa Hammond field goals, cut the lead to 23 points before ECU held on for the 70-47 victory.
One of the largest advantages for the Pirates came on the boards as they finished with a 49-31 rebounding advantage and was also dominant in the paint, scoring 38 while holding the Herd to 22.
Handy led Marshall with ten points and was the only MU scorer in double digits for the Herd. Crook finished with eight points.
LaCoya Terry, the leading scorer in C-USA averaging 17.5 PPG was on pace Saturday, finishing with 17 points. Guard Jasmine Young scored 15.
Conference USA play will continue for the Herd as it will travel to SMU and Tulsa next weekend. The Herd will face the Mustangs on Thursday evening before a tilt with the Golden Hurricane on Saturday afternoon.