Pirates face off against struggling North Texas

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, February 13, 2014




Riding a four-game win-streak, the ECU women’s basketball team is looking to continue its historic season when they take on North Texas (10-13, 4-6 C-USA) on Saturday in Minges Coliseum.

The catalyst behind the Pirates success of late is no other than junior forward Shae Nelson, who has been one of the hottest shooters in the conference over her last four games and only seems to be getting better. In the matchup against Old Dominion last month, Head Coach Heather Macy predicted Nelson’s 17-point performance against the Monarchs would be a “breakout game” for her. At this point, it’s safe to say Macy knew what she was talking about.

Coming off a career-high 27-point road performance against the University of Alabama Birmingham, Nelson is averaging about 21 points over her last four outings, distributing the basketball nicely and limiting turnovers. She’s maturing into a consistent scoring option for Macy.

Redshirt sophomore Jada Payne and redshirt junior Abria Trice have spent their season consistently contributing on both ends of the floor. Both have been offensive weapons for the Pirates, Payne sitting at fifth in the conference in scoring at a 19.7 point per game clip, while Trice averages 16.6 points per game as well. ECU still remains the only team in the C-USA with two top-10 scoring options.

For a North Texas team that has struggled to win games of late, dropping four of their last seven, the Pirates should have no problem outscoring the Green Wave, which hasn’t eclipsed 70-point mark in a game since December.

North Texas relies heavily on 6-foot junior Briesha Wynn and sophomore Alexis Hyder for the majority of their points and rebounds. If Trice and Payne can shut down the Green Wave’s scoring options, it will allow Nelson to create space, likely resulting in a fifth-straight double-digit scoring night.

Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.