Senior guard Danae McNeal floats for the bucket.

Senior guard Danae McNeal floats for the bucket.

The East Carolina University women’s basketball team (13-6, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) won 66-57 at their first road game against Wichita State University (12-7 2-4 AAC) on Jan. 21 in Wichita, Kansas, at Charles Koch Arena.

The Pirates came off a 61-53 win against the University of Cincinnati (7-11, 0-5 AAC) on Jan. 18 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

This was the first time in program history the Pirates took the win in Kansas. ECU is now 1-3 away since the teams started playing each other in the 2017-2018 season when the Shockers first joined the American.

East Carolina did not force any turnovers or grab steals within the first five minutes. The team is second in steals in the conference behind the University of Houston (6-12, 3-2 AAC). Both Houston and ECU are the only teams in the conference to average above 10 steals per game. The Pirates are first in the conference in turnovers created with 504 made on opponents and Houston is second with 451.

The first quarter stayed close with the score never being more than two-points apart. ECU moved the ball around the court and attempted a three-point shot but the ball soared over the net which allowed the Shockers to grab the defensive rebound with three minutes to go in the first.

Wichita made the first three pointer of the game with 30 seconds to go in the first. No Pirates averaged more than 10 points other than senior guard Danae McNeal with 16. ECU freshman forward Amiya Joyner is second with an average of nine points per game.

McNeal had an open opportunity as she made a fast break down the court and was left unguarded to make a layup. She made five other layups on the fast break in the second quarter.

The first three-pointer for East Carolina came at the buzzer for the second quarter to push the team further in their 35-26 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Wichita State made 12 of the 14 points scored in the first five minutes. This allowed them to close the gap ECU established in the second. The score was tied for the second time in the quarter at 40-40 with four minutes to go.

McNeal lost the ball to allow the Shockers to grab the turnover and made the three-point shot on the possession. The game was kept close once again as both teams had the lead multiple times in the third. Going into the fourth the score was tied 46-46.

The lead was gained by ECU and they propelled forward nine points for the teams largest lead of the game thus far. Pirate senior guard Micah Dennis scored back-to-back three pointers with six minutes to go in the game.

Dennis led the team with 19 points and McNeal only scored two points in the second half but ended the game with 18 points. Joyner was the third highest scorer with 16 points. No other Pirates were near the top three scorers for the team with the fourth highest being six.

Wichita State turned the ball over 27 times and off of that came 40 points for ECU. Compared to the 10 Pirate turnovers and 13 points from them.

East Carolina’s next game will be against the University of Memphis (10-8, 2-3 AAC) for the second time this season on Jan. 25 in Williams Arena and can be watched on ESPN+.

The next meeting between Wichita State and the Pirates will be in Williams Arena on Feb. 12 and be the Pink Game for ECU. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and 107.9 WNCT FM.

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