ECU women need statement win at MarshallPublished 2:50pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Head Coach Heather Macy knows this team is capable of dealing with adversity. After two closely contested, gritty match-ups against Old Dominion and Charlotte, Marshall, the only team without a conference win in Conference USA, provides the Pirates an opportunity to pick up an easy win on Wednesday.
However, sitting at an 18-3 (6-2 C-USA) record, ECU still sits in the shadow of nationally ranked Middle Tennessee, who leads the conference at a perfect 7-0 clip (18-3 overall).
“We have a great group of girls,” said Macy. “We know we’re after the championship.”
A loss on the road at Marshall would not only hurt the Pirates chances of taking the conference title, but take them out of the conversation of earning a national top-25 ranking as well. A decisive win against Marshall would give the Pirates their 19th victory on the season and move them to second in the conference. This is a must-win for Macy’s team.
Despite an offense that averages just 62.3 points per game, Marshall’s defense is nothing to discount. Even undersized, forwards Suporia Dickens and Chelsey Romero manage to create space in the paint and secure rebounds.
For ECU to coast in this one, they will have to utilize their height to their advantage. The Thundering Herd has just two players over six-foot-one, while the Pirates have three starters exceeding six-foot-one, Abria Trice, Jada Payne and Ondrea Shaw.
Macy also has junior forward Shae Nelson, who has dropped 17 points in each of the last two games off the bench.
“It was big for us for somebody to step in and by that third scorer, and Shae stepped in and did that,” said Macy. “There’s not doubt that Shae can do this every single night.”
If floor general Payne and Nelson continue their hot shooting, the Pirates should have no problem coasting to victory on the road.