ECU women survive to take on Huskies
The Daily Reflector
Friday, March 8, 2019
The East Carolina women’s basketball team won its third straight game and third straight against SMU on Friday in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference women’s tournament in Uncasville, Conn.
After leading for nearly the entire game, the No. 8 seed Pirates had to make a late run in overtime to top No. 9 seed SMU 50-48.
The Pirates (16-14) advanced to the AAC quarterfinals for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in five trips to the conference tournament. ECU will take on No. 1 seed Connecticut on Saturday afternoon at 2. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.
“Survive and advance, that is what it’s about right now,” acting ECU head coach Nicole Mealing said. “I think that we played with the energy that we needed to in order to win this game. Shots were not falling like we wanted them to, but our defense was there and we played tough defense for 45 minutes ... I am just so proud of them and of their effort with what they did today.”
ECU had four players score at least 10 points, but none had more than 12. Salita Greene had a doube-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds as well as scoring the go-ahead field goal in the extra period. Alex Frazier and Raven Johnson both had 12 points to lead ECU, while Lashonda Monk had 10 points of her own.
With ECU holding its largest lead of the game, 32-18, in the third quarter, SMU’s offense finally came to life while ECU’s went into hibernation late in the game. The Mustangs rattled off a 10-0 run but ECU still led 34-28 heading into the fourth.
ECU still led 42-34 after Johnson made a short jumper with just under four minutes to go, but SMU went on a 12-4 run to tie the game. With 27 seconds left, Kayla White made SMU’s first triple of the game to tie the score at 46-46 with less than 30 seconds remaining.
SMU’s Johnasia Cash scored on the opening possession of OT to give SMU its first lead of the game. Nearly halfway through the five-minute overtime, Monk came up with a steal and turned it into a layup to tie the game.
The game-winning basket came with 1:49 remaining. Greene caught the ball at the left elbow and drove with her right hand, floating a jumper up and over a defender. From there, ECU forced SMU into two missed shots and two turnovers, holding on for the win.
— ECU Media Relations