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ECU women hold off Tigers

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East Carolina's Alex Frazier scores during a game against Memphis on Feb. 9, 2019. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, February 9, 2019

East Carolina built a big halftime lead on Saturday, but the Pirates’ real poise was demanded down the stretch when they were forced by Memphis to defend it in an eventual 68-59 win in Minges Coliseum.

Both teams endured dreadful shooting, but ECU (12-11, 3-7 American Athletic Conference) defended vigorously and forced 31 turnovers, and on offense the Pirates finished 25-for-30 to make the difference after a lead that neared 20 was whittled to seven in the second half.

“I think today we got a little too stagnant on offense when we had the lead, and it went from trying to win a game to trying not to lose a game, and we can’t have that mentality ever,” ECU interim head coach Dawn Mealing said of her team, which rebounded from a huge loss at Connecticut earlier in the week.

Lashonda Monk blew up for a game-high 22 points with an incredible 15-for-16 performance at the line. Also for ECU, Raven Johnson added 13 points and nine rebounds and Alex Frazier notched 12 points, while Salita Greene came off the bench to contribute nine points and eight boards.

The Pirates, who improved to 10-3 at home, found a way despite shooting shooting just 26 percent, including 10.5 (2-of-19) in the fourth quarter.

“To me, a win is a win,” Mealing said. “I think they came out and fought. We lost our focus for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, but a win is a win and I’m going to take it.”

Memphis (9-14, 4-6) shot 41 percent but never regained a lead after losing it in the first quarter.

The Tigers were led by Jamirah Shutes’ 16 points, followed by 11 from Taylor Barnes and 10 from Alana Davis. 

After swapping a handful of leads in the opening minutes of the first quarter, ECU emerged with a 20-16 edge to open the second. From there, the hosts quickly put a stranglehold on the game with punishing defense and persistent scoring, finishing the half with the game already in hand at 36-23.

That effort was fronted by Monk’s 12 points and seven from Destiny Campbell.

As the Pirates scored at one end — despite shooting just 30 percent in the half — they steadily squelched the shooting of the Tigers, who went into the intermission shooting a meager 33 percent.

In fact, the first Memphis points of the second period were at its midway point. Meanwhile, the Pirates were on their way to an insurmountable lead, going up by 10, 26-16, with 7:10 to play before halftime. It grew from there in a quarter ECU won 16-7.

Other than the score itself, the biggest disparities were the Pirates’ 12-for-14 success at the line compared to 4-for-7 by the Tigers, and the visitors had 17 first-half turnovers to ECU’s four.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

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ECU

February 17, 2019

East Carolina basketball coaches have been hot on the recruiting trail, including for Boston 7-footer Charles Coleman who also is a target by Wake Forest, Duke and DePaul, as the Pirates have faced difficulties on the court for another season.

A 79-69 loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, a game in…

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February 16, 2019

East Carolina was busy on indoor and outdoor tennis courts this weekend, highlighted by the ECU women winning both of their matches in Greenville for a four-match win streak.

The Pirates (4-2) took a 5-2 victory over James Madison at the River Birch Tennis Center, then swept Campbell at the ECU…

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February 16, 2019

After serving as East Carolina baseball’s first starting pitcher of the season and hitting for himself as the designated hitter, Alec Burleson was thinking he would remain at DH or maybe play first base for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader versus Radford.

Instead, some conversations led…

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February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

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February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

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February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

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February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

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February 15, 2019

One of baseball’s many adages is that good teams need to be strong “up the middle,” a reference that focuses on important defensive positions from catcher to middle infielders at shortstop and second base and then into the outfield with a center fielder.

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s 64-54 women’s basketball win at SMU on Thursday night gave the Pirates consecutive victories for the first time since December.

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s baseball season will begin Friday at Clark-LeClair Stadium with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. and from there the series schedule versus Radford will be fluid.

Changes were made Thursday morning to the weekend schedule because of expected rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Revised Weekend…

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