East Carolina University (1-3, 0-0 AAC) women’s basketball team lost on Sunday against the University of North Carolina Charlotte (4-0, 0-0 C-USA) bringing its season record to 1-3. The Pirates struggled coming out of halftime, giving the 49ers the chance they needed to secure their perfect 4-0 record.
“They deserved to win the game tonight because they executed their game plan and we didn't,” head coach Kim McNeill said. “We will keep working, we will keep getting better. I will continue to say that the team we are now will not be the team that we are in January. As a staff, we believe in this team, we believe that we're setting a standard here for this program, and we'll keep pushing and challenging these ladies every day."
Junior guard Lashonda Monk, led the Pirates in points with 17. She tied her career-high of four three-pointers, including a halftime buzzer beater, and rounded out the stat sheet with five rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Necole Hope put up 10 points and freshman guard Taniyah Thompson dropped nine points during the loss.
Turnovers seemed to be the narrative of the game as both sides had a high number giveaways. ECU had 19 turnovers and UNCC had 23. The back-and-forth fight over possession took a toll on the Pirates after the 49ers took over during the end of the third quarter. Three-point shots were falling, but UNCC hit more shots and capitalized off of ECU’s mistakes in the third quarter. Ending with a 10-0 run, UNCC led 43-36 going into the fourth.
The Pirates fought and came out hitting their shots to start the fourth quarter, but their opponent was able to hold them off until time expired. ECU lost at the end of the game 59-47 to the 49ers.
ECU will play at Virginia Commonwealth University (1-2, 0-0 A-10) on Wednesday for the Pirates’ first game on the road this season. ECU has struggled at home to start the season, but look forward to grabbing a win on the road this week.
"We've got to be a better disciplined team,” McNeill said. I keep telling everybody that this is not about building a team, it's about building a program, and there is a difference between building a team and building a program. We've got to become a more disciplined team, we've got to play with more sense of urgency. All of that comes a part of doing it in the program,
teaching kids how to win and what it takes to win, and really buying in on the little things."
VCU is coming off of a two-game losing streak, in losses against both Seton Hall (3-0, 0-0 Big East) and No. 25 University of South Florida (4-0, 0-0 AAC). It is looking to snap its losing streak against a struggling ECU squad.
VCU freshman guard Tera Reed led her team in scoring in their previous game against USF with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field, 2-for-2 from the three point line to go along with four rebounds. She is averaging 12.5 points per game to lead the team in scoring. Two other players are averaging double figures in points per game. They include redshirt sophomore guard Madison Hattix-Covington (11.3 points per game), and senior center Danielle Hammond (10.3 points per game).
Another player to watch for besides those three key scorers for VCU is junior forward Sydnei Archie. Archie is leading the team in rebounds with an average of seven boards per contest in the three games played so far this year. If the Pirates contain these four players they should have a good chance of leaving Virginia with their second win of the year.
History between ECU and VCU has been split at 4-4 between the two teams, but one will gain the advantage after the Pirates travel to Virginia. ECU will head to Stuart C. Siegel Center on Wednesday and tip-off will be at 11 a.m.