Greenville, S.C. – The East Carolina women's basketball team outscored USC Upstate 41-18 in the second half to claim a 66-53 victory on Friday night inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
East Carolina improves to 1-0 while Upstate drops to 0-1 in the season opener for both teams.
Rylie Parkhurst led Upstate with a career-high 14 points. Anda Kuzmina added 11 points in her collegiate debut. Riley Popplewell grabbed seven rebounds while DeNisha Swain dished out four assists. Parkhurst and Diamon Shiflet recorded two steals.
Raven Johnson scored a game-high 21 points to lead East Carolina. Thais Oliveira posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
- A'Lexxus Davis gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead before East Carolina tied the game at 7 thanks to a Johnson 3-pointer. Morgan Williams sank a pair of free throws to give Upstate an 18-12 lead with 1:31 left in the period. The Spartans led 18-14 at the end of the opening quarter.
- The Pirates pulled to within three points, 20-17, after Justice Gee completed the three-point play with just under seven minutes left. Swain hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Spartans a 35-25 advantage heading into halftime. The 10-point lead was Upstate's largest of the game.
- East Carolina scored five points in the first 77 seconds of the third quarter to pull within five, 35-30. After trading 3-pointers for a 41-37 Upstate lead, the Pirates retook the lead for the first time since the 6:04 mark of the first quarter on a Johnson 3-pointer with 2:37 remaining. Alex Frazier sank a pair of free throws to send the Pirates into the final stanza with a 46-44 lead.
- Olivera's layup with 6:49 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the hosts a 52-44 lead. A Kuzmina 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run to bring Upstate within a point, 52-51, with 4:43 to play. The Spartans would get no closer as East Carolina closed out the game with a 14-2 run.
By the Numbers
- Upstate committed 30 turnovers while East Carolina had 19 giveaways.
- East Carolina scored 26 points off of turnovers while Upstate scored 10 points off of turnovers.
- The Spartans finished 19-for-55 (34.5 percent) from the field while East Carolina was 22-for-64 (34.4 percent).
- East Carolina outrebounded Upstate 46-36.
- The contest featured five lead changes.
- Each team received seven points from its reserves.
- Upstate opens the home portion of its schedule on Wednesday, hosting Presbyterian College at 7 p.m.
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