In search of their first win of the season, the East Carolina women’s basketball team (0-2, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) fell to High Point University (1-1, 0-0 Big South Conference) 50-60 Nov. 12.
Tip-off was at 7 p.m. at the Qubein Center in High Point, North Carolina. Both the Pirates and the Panthers came into this game with a loss in the season opener. ECU fell to Middle Tennessee State University (2-0, 0-0 Conference USA) while High Point was three points short of a win against Elon University (1-0, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association).
Due to the Elon game, the Panthers had to verse the Pirates without lead scorer senior guard Skyler Curran who was injured last game. ECU started its season with seven newcomers added to the roster in an attempt to help lead the team to victory.
In the first quarter, the scoreboard remained blank for the first four minutes of the game until Pirate sophomore guard Synia Johnson put two points on the board after her foul shots. The Panthers got on the board right after as graduate student forward Jaden Wrightsell was able to get down the court for a layup.
ECU’s junior guard Danae McNeal helped to lock-in the Pirate defense by forcing three early turnovers. When it comes to steals, the Pirates ended the 2020-21 season at No. 5 in the country with an average of 12.1 steals per game. HPU continued to tally up the fouls quickly, ending the first quarter with five, taking ECU to the line frequently.
Once ECU got on the board they were able to remain in the lead until the third quarter. The first quarter ended with the Pirates ahead 13-8 with both ECU’s McNeals and HPU’s Wrightsell with six points apiece.
In the second quarter, the Panthers started with a Wrightsell basket. ECU’s junior guard Taniyah Thompson made the first three-pointer of the game as the Pirates kept their lead. ECU head coach Kim McNeil kept her team in rotations as substitutions continued through the quarter.
Both the Pirates offense and defense drew fouls as the Panthers continued to put ECU on the foul line. With six minutes left in the half and the Pirates still in the lead 21-14, their offense had already totaled up three offensive fouls. With 4:58 left in the half, the Panthers were still 0-10 on the three-point line. As HPU got the ball rolling and scored six points, junior guard Callie Scheier scored a corner three-pointer to tie up the game at the half 23-23.
In the third, trying to break the tie, the teams continued to trade possessions until 8:07 where Thompson was able to get on the line to take the score 24-23. The women traded baskets as the Pirates tried out two-three defense before returning back to man-to-man. At 2:39 the score was back to a tie at 37 until the Panthers took their first lead of the game with two minutes remaining in the third.
With the Pirates repeated failed attempts to rebound and score, the third quarter ended after a last-second missed three-point attempt by Scheier. The Panthers remained on top at the end of the third 41-42. To start the fourth the Panthers went 6-0 before Pirate graduate student forward Tylar Bennet was able to get a layup with 3:34 left as the score stood at 43-48, High Point.
With shots, layups and fouls traded back and forth for the rest of the game, the Panthers left the Pirates at 50 points as they went on to score three times more. The game ultimately ended with a Pirate loss with a score of 50-60.
Thompson ended the game with 28 total points and eight rebounds while the next leading Pirate was McNeal with six points.
ECU will be back in action on its quest for a win Nov. 15 in the home opener against Gardner Webb University (0-2, 0-0 Big South) at 6 p.m.