The East Carolina University women’s basketball team (5-4, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) suffered a 71-58 loss on Jan. 2 against the No. 21 ranked University of South Florida Bulls (7-1, 4-0 AAC) in what was a game between the two top teams in the AAC standings.
Both teams came into the game on win streaks, as the Pirates had won four straight and the Bulls had won five. In addition, USF was ranked No. 21 in the NCAA’s AP poll.
At the end of the first quarter, the Bulls outscored the Pirates 16-13 which gave them an advantage before the start of the second. Senior forward Bethy Mununga led USF in points scored in the first quarter as she had six points to go along with two rebounds.
In the second quarter, the Bulls continued to increase their lead as they outscored the Pirates 16-15, which gave them a 32-28 lead as both teams went into halftime.
Mununga had 12 points at the end of the first half, and sophomore guard Elene Tsineke added to USF’s team totals with seven points. For ECU, graduate guard Sierra DaCosta led the Pirates in points scored with 10 total and senior guard Lashonda Monk followed her with six points to go along with two steals.
At the end of the third, USF managed to keep its lead and they finished the quarter up 47-41. In addition, they outscored ECU 15-13 in the quarter.
Sophomore guard Taniyah Thompson led the Pirates in points scored at the end of the third quarter with 12 points while she had two rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, USF was able to stretch their lead by a larger margin as they outscored ECU 24-17 and finished the game with a 71-58 win. The Bulls were led in points scored by Mununga, who had 23 on the day.
USF had two more players who scored double-digit figures in junior guard Sydni Harvey and sophomore guard Maria Alvarez, who had 11 and 10 points.
The Pirates shot 34.9% from the field in the contest, and Monk and Dacosta led ECU in points scored with 13 each. ECU as a team lost the rebound battle 48-30, but they only turned the ball over a total of 11 times, and they were able to get eight team steals in the contest.
The Pirates will now prepare to take on the Temple University Owls (2-3, 2-0 AAC) at home in WIlliams Arena on Jan. 6. The game is set to tip-off at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.