UNCW can’t handle shooting touch of ECU Pirates


GREENVILLE, NC (UNCWSPORTS.COM) — Graduate student forward Kristen Gaffney led four East Carolina players in double figures with a game-high 17 points as the Pirates spoiled UNCW’s road debut with a 75-65 decision at Minges Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

The Pirates, who were playing their third consecutive home game to open the season, improved their record to 3-0 on the season while the Seahawks dropped to 1-1.

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Gaffney, the reigning American Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Week, made 7-of-12 shots from the floor while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds with three assists.

Redshirt senior guard Khadidja Toure came off the bench to contribute 16 points with four assists. She converted 5-of-10 field goal attempts, including a 3-for-6 effort from three-point range, with four assists.

Redshirt senior guard Antoinette Bannister added 12 points while redshirt senior forward Bre McDonald contributed 11 points with eight rebounds.

UNCW was led by redshirt senior guard Jasmine Steele, who tallied 14 points with five assists. Redshirt senior forward Jordan Henry added 11 points with six rebounds while redshirt junior forward Jenny DeGraaf grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds with eight points.

How It Happened: East Carolina shot a blistering 64.0 percent from the field in the second half to pull away from the Seahawks. Bannister and McDonald combined to score 23 of the Pirates’ 45 points after the intermission.

Game Notes: UNCW and East Carolina, a pair of former Colonial Athletic Association rivals, met for the first time since the 2011-12 season … The Pirates ended a two-game losing streak against UNCW while upping their series advantage to 32-23 … UNCW shot 48.5 percent from the field in the second half, making 16-of-33 field goal attempts … Junior guard Madison Raque scored all eight of her points in the third quarter … The Louisville, Ky., native also set a career high with five assists … The Seahawks knocked down eight three-point field goals for the second straight game … ECU tallied 19 assists on its 27 field goals … UNCW outscored East Carolina, 12-9, in second chance points.

Up Next for the Seahawks: UNCW plays its second straight road game on Sunday, Nov. 20, with a visit to former Colonial Athletic Association foe Georgia State. Tip-off between the Seahawks and the Panthers is slated for 2 p.m.