The East Carolina University women’s basketball team (4-3, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) is set for a matchup with the Tulane University Green Wave (4-2, 0-1 AAC) on Dec. 22 at noon in Williams Arena in Greenville, North Carolina.
The Pirates are currently on a three game win streak, two of which were AAC road matchups this past week. In ECU’s most recent win, the team was able to knock off the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (1-4, 0-1 AAC) on Dec. 20 by a score of 74-67. In that game, the Pirates had four players score in double figures, one of which was senior guard Lashonda Monk who finished with 32 points total for the contest.
Originally, ECU was scheduled to play the bearcats on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m., but due to COVID-19 protocol, the AAC felt it was best to move the game to Dec. 20 at noon. After the matchup with the Bearcats, head coach Kim McNeill said she was pleased with how her team dealt with the adversity of the situation.
“I’m just so proud of just the perseverance that we’ve shown here over the last 48-72 hours,” McNeill said.
Tulane as a team has averaged 71.5 points per game up to this point in the season while they have been able to hold their opponents to average 61.5 points per game. In addition, the Green Wave has shot 41.4% from the field while they have grabbed 42.3 rebounds per game on average and 8.5 steals per contest, according to tulanegreenwave.
The Pirates have had success on the defensive end this year as they force 15.3 turnovers a game, and they have been able to gather 94 steals through seven games. On offense, ECU has averaged 58.4 points per game and they currently average four threes per contest. The Pirates have protected the glass as they have blocked 23 shots up to this point in the season, which comes out to 3.3 blocks per game, according to The American.
McNeill said she is optimistic about where this team can go. She said she feels as if her team has the opportunity to be better despite the success they have already had this early in the 2020-2021 season.
“As I keep saying I’m so excited for this team because we haven’t even reached the tip of our potential,” McNeill said.
The Green Wave has been able to lean on many different players as they have three players who score in double figures on average. Freshman guard Jordan JerKaila leads the team in points scored as she averages 15.7 points per contest. Senior forward Krystal Freeman follows her in points at 15.5 per game, while she grabs 10.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Arsula Clark is second in three point percentage at 33.3% and averages 12.2 points a game.
As a team, ECU currently has four players who average double figures in points scored per game. Monk, who is a preseason all-AAC first team selection, has averaged 16.0 points per game, while she shoots 83.3% from the free throw line. Graduate guard Sierra DaCosta follows Monk in points at 10.6 a game while she averages four rebounds a game.
The Pirates currently sit at second place in the AAC standings, behind the University of Central Florida Knights (4-1, 2-0 AAC). However, McNeill said she feels this year’s team still has room for development.
“We’re still moving forward, we’re still growing,” McNeill said.
In the matchup history with Tulane, the Pirates have a record of 6-16, and have won two straight against the Green Wave. In last season’s matchup, ECU was able to win by a score 53-50 on Feb. 29 in Williams Arena.
ECU will host Tulane on Dec. 22 in Williams Arena. Tip-off is set for noon and will be streamed on ESPN+.