Another Minges doubleheader on tap
The Daily Reflector
Saturday, December 2, 2017
For the first time since last basketball season, East Carolina comes into a game riding some true momentum after rallying to upend in-state rival UNC Wilmington 93-88 in overtime on Thursday night.
It was the first game and first true win this year as ECU head coach for Michael Perry, who has replaced Jeff Lebo after the eighth-year veteran stepped away earlier this week.
Senior guard B.J. Tyson showed his full arsenal in scoring a career-high 30 points, mostly slicing up the Seahawks with dribble penetration and a delicate shooting touch. Tyson hit a free throw to tie the game with 6 seconds to play, and in OT he teamed with guards Isaac Fleming (21 pts.) and Shawn Williams (15 pts.) to put away UNCW.
Today at 5, the Pirates (3-4) hope to build on that momentum when they square off against Delaware State in Minges Coliseum. The Hornets (2-6) are stinging from consecutive losses to Troy and Binghamton.
“That gives us a lot of energy to go out and play for him,” Tyson said of the immediate boost felt from winning the first official game under Perry, who also took over for the team last season when Lebo was recovering from hip surgery.
Freshmen and sophomores are continuing to emerge for the East Carolina women’s basketball team, which is looking to create a three-game winning streak with a victory today against Norfolk State at 2 p.m. to begin the second Minges Coliseum doubleheader in three days.
Sophomore forward Dominique Claytor has been a consistent producer this season, and it is the freshman duo of Ariyana Williams and Necole Hope coming off a big performance after a potential key ECU win. Williams nailed a clutch 3-pointer and Hope scored a game-high 15 points Wednesday night against Charlotte in a 58-55 victory by the Pirates (3-4).
Postgame talk centered around the close win giving the Pirates an early-season confidence boost heading into the matchup against Norfolk State, which is 1-4 all-time against East Carolina.
“I really think our basketball team was able to learn and process and grow really rapidly in the month of November, with the way that our schedule has worked out with close games,” coach Heather Macy said. “In these past two games, we have performed really incredibly well in the clutch.”
ECU’s starting lineup lately has consisted of Claytor, Williams and Hope joined by senior center Thais Oliveira and junior point guard Alex Frazier. Oliveira has moved to the top of the team’s balanced scoring attack, leading the way in scoring average (9.4) and rebounds per game (8.4).
Norfolk is 2-4 and its last outing was a 59-56 setback to High Point. The Spartans last played ECU in 2014, when the Pirates won 65-36.