The East Carolina University women’s basketball team earned its seventh victory in the past eight games Thursday, closing non-conference play with a win against University of Maryland.
Both teams struggled in the opening quarter with scoring, as UMES led only 11-9. The Pirates went on a 12-3 scoring run at the beginning of the second quarter, while also holding the Hawks without a field goal for 5:30 during this stretch. ECU's offense took it up a notch in the second quarter as it scored 20 points to lead by 11 going into the half, 29-18.
The second half was a back and forth battle with UMES trying to fight its way back into the game. At the end of the third quarter, the Hawks trailed by 17 but were able to cut the deficit to seven points with 6:40 left in the final quarter.
Following an ECU timeout with 6:15 left in the game, junior guard Alex Frazier knocked down a jumper that pushed the lead to nine. After that, the Pirates would hold on to close non-conference play with a 10-point victory.
Junior forward Destiny Campbell led the team in scoring as she scored 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. Freshman guard Ariyana Williams scored in double figures for the 10th straight contest as she added 13 points for ECU.
Thais Oliveira had her second double-double performance of the season, as she added 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
"Thais is hard on herself,” head coach Heather Macy said. “She's doing a heck of a job, things that aren't showing up in the box scores. She's making winning plays over and over (and) she's been doing amazing for us. We're looking forward to getting her for the next couple months."
The Pirates finished non-conference play with a 8-5 record including going 7-1 in the past eight games of the season.
With this win against UMES, the team can look to go into American Athletic Conference play with some momentum despite having No. 1 University of Connecticut coming to Greenville on Wednesday.
"I think it was a good non-conference win to help prepare us. I'm thankful for this game before conference play with the way we started that first quarter,” Macy said. “I think we needed that to knock off the Christmas rust a little bit. The one day prep, we've kind of been prepping for that game so it won't just be the one day and I'm looking forward to having Cincinnati in here Saturday."
With the victory on Thursday, Macy is now tied with former head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener (2002-10) as ECU's all-time leader in wins with 126 victories.
"I had no clue this was coming, but I'm pretty sure Macy doesn't really care that much,” Oliveira said. “She cares, but not really. She has bigger plans for this program and I'm pretty sure she is going to accomplish them soon."
ECU opens AAC play against the University of Cincinnati today at 5 p.m. at Williams Arena inside Minges Coliseum.