Lady Pirates’ season comes to an end

Published 7:54 am Saturday, March 7, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
NEW ORLEANS, La. — The East Carolina women’s basketball team took a late lead in the first quarterfinal of the 2009 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championship, but couldn’t hang on as the No. 1 seed SMU captured a 77-69 victory inside Fogelman Arena Friday afternoon. The Lady Pirates end tournament play with an overall record of 18-13 while the Mustangs earned their 20th win of the season and improved to 20-10 on their campaign.
SMU raced out to multiple 10-point leads to start the contest, the last being at the 11:35 mark when Samantha Mahnesmith converted a layup to give her team a 20-10 lead. ECU cut into the lead, eventually pulling within six points with 1:39 remaining in the half on an Ashley Clarke layup. SMU upped its advantage to eight right before the half, when LaShandra Hill nailed a mid-range jumper in the final minute.
Brittany Gilliam lead all scorers at the half, netting 13 for SMU while Allison Spivey and Tiahana Bowens shared the lead for the Lady Pirates with six points each. East Carolina held the advantage from the field, converting 10 of its 28 shots for a percentage of .400 while the Mustangs fired at a .353 clip. SMU out-dueled the Lady Pirates on the glass, pulling down 24 rebounds as compared to 18 for ECU.