Wilson leads Lady Pirates to OT win|ECU women off to best non-conference start in school history

Published 1:15 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2009

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
ECU Sports Information
 BRONX, N.Y. — Like UMBC Monday, Binghamton rallied in the second half, but the East Carolina women’s basketball team had the answer Tuesday, winning an 86-82 decision in overtime in the final game of the Fordham Holiday Classic. The Lady Pirates improve to 11-2, the best non-conference ledger in program history, while the Bearcats are now 3-9.
 Crystal Wilson netted a career-high 20 points while almost completing a double-double with eight rebounds. Additionally, Kim Gay notched 13 points to go along with nine boards. Additionally, Allison Spivey and Ashley Clarke scored 10 points each.
 Binghamton jumped out to a 12-8 lead over the first four minutes, and kept its four-point cushion as the clock ticked under 12 minutes, leading 16-12 with 11:41 remaining in the half. Viive Rebane then converted a three-point play, making the score 21-16 at the 7:58 mark.
 ECU began to push back, as Allison Spivey hit a fastbreak layup to pull the Lady Pirates to within four at 24-20 with 3:45 remaining in the period.
East Carolina then turned up its defense, forcing three-straight turnovers and eventually putting together a 15-8 run that ended the half and put the Lady Pirates ahead by three, 35-32.
 ECU regained its shooting touch after suffering a poor performance yesterday, firing at 56 percent while the Bearcats produced a 37.5 mark. However, Binghamton stayed close due to a 19-6 advantage in free throw attempts, hitting 13 of them. Conversely, the Lady Pirates nailed five of their six.
 Crystal Wilson led East Carolina with nine points in the half, while also picking up a team-high three rebounds. Additionally, Spivey and Ashley Clarke handed out three assists each.
 A modest 8-7 run out of halftime, capped off by a Chareya Smith layup, put the Lady Pirates five points clear of Binghamton, 43-39, as the first media timeout occurred at 15:52. A Spivey trey gave ECU its largest lead of the game, 53-44, as the Lady Pirates would lead 53-46 at the 11:46 mark.
 The Bearcats rallied, cutting their deficit to just one with 9:41 left when Erica Carter hit a three. Binghamton then completed the comeback, pushing ahead 58-56 at the 7:45 mark. A three-point barrage highlighted the next three minutes, as the Bearcats hit three-consecutive shots from beyond the arc to go ahead 67-62 with just 3:50 remaining.
 Clarke hit two free throws with under a minute left to give East Carolina 74-71 lead, but Andrea Holmes drilled a three with 17.1 on the clock, setting up a chance for the Lady Pirates to win with the last shot. Spivey had a look on the baseline as the buzzer sounded, but her shot was short, sending the game into overtime.
 Orla O’Reilly and Jean Best traded layups before ECU pushed ahead 84-82 with under a minute remaining. Holmes tried to carry her team all by herself, as she had scored 21 of her team’s last 23 points, but she was off on her last three point attempt as Clarke sealed the win for the Lady Pirates with two free throws.
 East Carolina shot 51.7 percent for the game, converting more than 30 (31) field goals for the 19th time since the start of the 2006-07 season. Binghamton also shot well, hitting 42.6 percent. The Lady Pirates had the distinct advantage on the glass, picking up 44 rebounds as compared to 30 for the Bearcats. Additionally, ECU dominated the paint, outscoring Binghamton 47-24, while assists were even at 16.
 The Lady Pirates return to the court Jan. 4, opening up Conference USA play against Marshall at 7 p.m. at Minges Coliseum. The game is slated to be shown live on CBS College Sports with Ann Schatz providing play-by-play and LaChina Robinson handling color commentary duties.