Katerina Tsineke

ECU freshman guard Katerina Tsineke.

The East Carolina University (2-4, 0-0 AAC) women’s basketball team dominated and defeated the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1-5, 0-0 MEAC) by a score of 57-42 yesterday with the help of a strong defensive effort by the Pirates.

"I'm so excited we got the win because we needed it,” head coach Kim McNeill said. “We talked about it before the game that we were in desperate need for a win but I'm not happy with the way we won the game because there's a standard and there's an expectation for this program.”

Freshman guard Taniyah Thompson led the charge for the Pirates with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals. With a team high of 10 rebounds, redshirt junior guard/forward Dominique Claytor also pulled in 10 points for the Pirates. Claytor added five steals and three assists as well.

The Pirates defensive display led to easy offense for them. In the first stanza they were able to finish it out with a 14-4 lead. This is the second time this season that ECU has been able to hold a team to just four points in the first quarter. Six different Pirates scored in the opening frame, and they were able to hold the Hawks to 1-of-13 (7.7%) shooting.

"We talk about it all the time, if you can defend you always have an opportunity to win the game. Obviously, that's what we will continue to do best," McNeill said.

ECU kept the same game plan going into the second quarter. Thompson, freshman guard Katerina Tsineke and junior guard Lashonda Monk all sunk threes. Not only did the Pirates hold the Hawks to 25% shooting, but they were also able to force 16 turnovers in the first two periods. ECU ended the half with a 19 point lead at 30-11.

In the third frame, the Hawks began to build some momentum as they started to shoot from behind the arc. Maryland Eastern Shore had a much higher shooting percentage, as they shot 8-of-13. The Hawks scored 22 points in the period to cut ECU’s lead to 10 at 43-33 going into the final frame.

The Hawks knocked down another three to start the fourth frame to cut ECU’s advantage to only seven, but Thompson responded right back with a three of her own to give the Pirates a double-digit lead again. The Pirates lead did not drop back into the single digits at all to close out the game.

The Pirates will be on the road on Tuesday when they face Longwood University (2-3, 0-0 Big South) at 7 p.m.

"Going on the road, it just pumps us up even more to be able to play well together no matter what," Claytor said.

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