As I feared, the East Carolina Pirates came out all fired up on their senior night. ECU jumped out to a surprising first quarter lead and put the Bearcats away early in the second half.
ECU held a five point advantage at the half (41-36). In the third quarter, the Pirates dominated 27-13 and put the game away. ECU shot well from behind the arc. They outrebounded and outhustled Cincinnati.
The win, ECU’s 2nd in the AAC, improved their overall record to 11-17. Cincinnati fell to 16-11 with the loss and 7-7 in league play.
ECU’s standout power forward Bre McDonald dominated the evening, hitting 4 three pointers, snatching 11 rebounds, and putting up a team-high 24 points. In her final home game, graduate transfer forward Kristen Gaffney earned a double-double as well with 20 points and 11 rebounds. McDonald and Gaffney’s solid glass work helped ECU earn a 43-35 rebounding advantage for the evening, including a 15-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
Junior guard Khadidja Toure also kicked in 14 points for the Pirates, including 3 three pointers.
Bianca Quisenberry and Shanice Johnson led the way for Cincinnati, with 14 points each. Johnson also contributed a team high of 14 rebounds.
The tough loss comes at a decidedly difficult time for the Bearcats. The Cincinnati women’s basketball team finishes their regular season road slate on Saturday in Philadelphia. At 2 PM, they will visit perpetual thorn-in-their-side Temple, one of the league’s best team.
ECU concludes their regular season on the road this Saturday against Houston.