The East Carolina University women’s basketball team took on Grand Canyon University last night 59-47, to take home its third win of the season.
The Pirates came out scoring the first four points in the game, setting the tone on the court. ECU and GCU were aggressive in the first quarter fighting over balls and diving on the court. The score remained close throughout, ending the quarter with the Pirates up by two points, 20-18.
“They (GCU) shot 62 percent in the first quarter and defensively I think our intensity picked up a little bit,” interim head coach Chad Killinger said. “We changed defenses. I think the way the game is played now you can’t sit in one defense because teams are able to get a rhythm.”
In the second quarter the Pirates scored their first three-pointer of the game by junior guard Jade Lewis assisted by junior guard Raven Johnson. Both teams stayed at a score of 24-22 with the Pirates in the lead for the first five minutes of the second quarter as no one seemed to be able to score.
GCU was on ECU’s heels in the beginning, but the Pirates took a 10 point lead after back-to-back free throws and layups. GCU could not get out of the rut after multiple failed attempts at the net. The Pirates defense stepped up and would not allow their opponents to score, ending the second quarter 34-24.
“As a team we just rallied together and knew we needed to get a gap in the game and so even in practices we are (rallying) together so in the games it’s easier for us to be together,” sophomore forward Tamia Hicks said. “I think that momentum and energy just carried from the group that was on, to the subs that came in that helped us get a bigger lead.”
After halftime, senior forward Destiny Campbell scored the first point of the third quarter for the Pirates. ECU maintained their lead at 42-28 for four minutes until senior forward Desiree Corbin scored, adding two points to their lead, followed by another two points from Campbell.
GCU started out the fourth quarter scoring two minutes in by Venla Varis, bringing the Pirate lead down to 10 points. ECU kept prevailing and scoring, leading 59-47 with 1:30 left in the game. Johnson scored the last basket for the Pirates adding insurance for ECU to win 59-47, defending home court in their third consecutive win while leading the entire game.
“Our team is pretty good about finding the person with the hot hand and getting them the ball,” Killinger said. “Destiny Campbell was hot early and she made the first four shots. Then when someone got hot in the second half we got them the ball. They are really not a selfish group which makes it pretty easy to coach them.”
Campbell and Johnson were the leading scorers of the game with 12 points each in the net. Hicks followed right behind with nine points a piece. Johnson also led the team with four steals and six assists.
The Pirates will take on Kennesaw State University in Minges Coliseum on Sunday at 5 p.m., attempting to extend their win streak to four in a row.
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