ECU keeps the home winning-streak alive with winPublished 11:17am Friday, January 31, 2014
The ECU women’s basketball team stayed hot at home with a closely contested win against the Old Dominion Monarchs, 64-63.
“We’ve kind of had a different little mindset,” said Head Coach Heather Macy. “We’ve gone from hunting to now we’re the hunted. You have to change your mentality when you get into these kinds of games.”
It was ODU’s Shae Kelly who established a strong paint presence early, pulling down the majority of the rebounds and capitalizing on second chance points. ECU’s Jada Payne kept the Pirates in the ballgame in the first half with 12 points. She would finish with 23 on the night and just one rebound shy of a double-double.
Off the bench, Shae Nelson proved to be he catalyst behind the Pirates offense, scoring nine first half points and ending with 17.
“Today was more about focus,” said Nelson. “I got myself a little bit more focused than I normally am.”
“It was big for us for some body to step in and by that third scorer, and Shae stepped in and did that,” said Macy. “There’s no doubt that Shae can do this every single night. We hope that this was sort of a breakout game for her.”
The strong offensive play of both Payne and Nelson was matched by ODU’s Kelly and Chelsea Painter in the first half. A buzzer-beating tip-in from Painter tied the score at 33 heading into the locker room.
In the second half, Payne and forward Abria Trice came out firing, expanding the lead that the Pirates would never relinquish.
The Monarchs shrunk the Pirates’ lead to four points in the final minute of play, but failed to close.
With the victory, the Pirates ended their 28-game drought against the Monarchs and moved to a commanding 17-3 (5-2 C-USA) record. ECU plays Charlotte at home this Saturday at 5 p.m and will try to gain ground in the Conference USA.