On Saturday evening, the East Carolina University Pirates women’s basketball team rode its hot second half shooting ability to a 64-60 victory over the Tulsa University Golden Hurricane in Oklahoma.
Trailing by 11 points at the half, the Pirates (14-14, 5-10 AAC) were shooting just 28.1 percent from the floor including a 2-for-5 performance from sophomore guard Lashonda Monk and a 0-for-5 effort by junior guard Raven Johnson. Their combined two field goals produced just seven points between the two guards, accounting for almost one-third of the Pirates’ 24 first-half points.
On the contrary, the Golden Hurricane (12-16, 6-9 AAC) managed a more reasonable 43.8 percent shooting from the floor in the first half of action, an effort led by freshman forward Kendrian Elliott who shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field.
While ECU bested Tulsa in the turnover column (4-7) prior to halftime, the Golden Hurricane out-rebounded the Pirates 28-17, nine of which were on the offensive glass compared to ECU’s five.
Driven by its urge to not to drop its fourth straight contest, ECU was able to flip the script on Tulsa and leave town with the victory.
The Pirates went into the third quarter with a new sense of urgency to where they were able to cut the Golden Hurricane lead to three, 40-43. Senior forward Destiny Campbell scores 10 points in the third period to be a big influencer in ECU’s comeback.
Tulsa went into the fourth quarter up 40-48. The Golden Hurricane went up 51-40 with 9:17 left in the game. ECU played strong defense and made three-pointers to get back in the game. Johnson and Monk both made two threes in the fourth to get the Pirates within three, 56-53 with 4:30 left in the game. The Pirates took the lead at 62-59 thanks to a Johnson three with 1:26 left in the fourth. ECU held on to win in the end 64-60.
The Pirates’ lackluster first half shooting numbers gave way to 53 percent shooting following intermission, a number that included a 4-for-10 effort from three point range. In addition, ECU was able to swing the battle of the boards in its favor, out rebounding Tulsa 22-15 down the stretch.
Johnson, whose 5-for-6 shooting in the second half helped fuel the comeback for ECU, posted 12 points in 19 minutes while Monk and senior forward Destiny Campbell also broke double-digits following the break in action.
Those three players accounted for 36 of ECU’s 40 second half points while Monk and Johnson combined for four steals, helping to hold Tulsa to just 25 points in the latter portion of the contest, including just 12 points in the closing quarter.
Tulsa’s sub-par shooting in the second half saw them post a 32 percent mark from the floor down the stretch, including a 1-for-7 performance from beyond the three-point line.
The Golden Hurricane struggles from the floor were front-and-center during the waning minutes of Saturday’s match-up, as they missed three straight shots late in regulation that opened the door for ECU to end their losing streak.
Overall, ECU had four players break double digits on Saturday while Johnson racked up a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Monk finished the game with a team-high 15 points and five steals, while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out six assists.
With a 5-10 record in conference play, ECU sits 10th in the American with just one game left to play. That final game will be on Monday at 7 p.m. at Minges Coliseum when it will take on Southern Methodist University looking to finish the regular season with a winning record of 15-14.