Pirate Women To Square Off With Seahawks On Friday

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East Carolina entertains rival UNCW at 8pm

After surviving a second half scare on Sunday at Western Carolina to capture an 80-76 victory–the first of the Heather Macy era, East Carolina will return to Williams Arena-Minges Coliseum on Friday when it host UNC-Wilmington. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

The Pirates (1-1), who will begin a four-game homestand with its contest against the Seahawks, defeated UNCW, 72-52, in Greenville last season and hold a 29-19 advantage in the series with its in-state rival.

East Carolina strives to play an up-tempo brand of basketball where a deep bench and pressure defense are critical. Through two games, the Pirates have forced 59 turnovers and have ten players averaging 11.5 minutes or more. Nine of those are playing atleast 16 minutes and no one is playing over 27.5. ECU’s new style has already produced an amazing 35 steals.

However, while ECU has put up 74 points per contest, it has done so without shooting the basketball well. The Pirates are 39.7% from the floor and just 19.4% (7-of-36) from beyond the arc. Rebounding is another area in which improvement must be shown, as the Pirates are getting outrebounded by eight boards per game thus far.

The scoring has been very balanced, as seven Pirates are averaging six points or more. Senior Kim Gay is averaging 15.5 points after scoring 20 at Western Carolina. The 6’2 post player is also producing five boards per contest. Junior guard Ashley Clarke is also averaging in double figures. The 5’6 junior is posting 13.5 points, five rebounds and three steals. The team’s top three-point threat has been senior Allison Spivey, who is 3-for-8 from deep.

UNC-Wilmington, which was coached by East Carolina assistant Ann Hancock last year, will bring a 1-0 mark to town after posting a 62-58 road win at UNCG on Monday night in Cynthia Cooper-Dyke’s debut as coach. The Seahawks led 32-18 at the break, but were forced to survive a Spartan rally in the second half.

UNCW had four players score in double-figures and were led by star senior Brittany Blackwell. Blackwell, who averaged 12.9 points last season, is an All-CAA performer. She posted the 26th double-double of her career with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The 6’1 guard/forward also had six steals and ranks fourth all-time at UNCW in that category.

6’2 senior center Martha White was a rebound shy of a double-double of her own, as she finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Prediction:

East Carolina went 12-2 at Williams Arena-Minges Coliseum in each of the last two seasons under Sharon Baldwin-Tener. After losing their home and season opener to American, 72-68, last Friday, expect the Pirates to collect a double-digit win over UNCW.

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