GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU Media Relations) – The East Carolina women’s basketball team dropped an 83-63 American Athletic Conference contest to Temple at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
Four Pirates scored in double-figures as I’Tiana Taylor registered her 12th double-double of the season and seventh in nine conference games with 10 points and 13 rebounds. DeVaughn Gray scored a team-high 14 points, while Marina Laramie added 12 points and Jada Payne contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Gabrielle Holston scored eight points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds off the bench.
The Owls also placed four scorers in double digits and shot an impressive 92.3 percent from the free throw line, as guard Alliya Butt led all players with 25 points on 9-for-21 shooting, while snaring a game-high seven steals. Erica Covile compiled 16 points and eight rebounds, while Feyonda Fitzgerald contributed a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.
East Carolina (9-12, 3-6 AAC) was the clear aggressor from the opening tip, bursting out on a 13-2 scoring run to the 5:38 mark, highlighted by back-to-back threes by Laramie and successful box-outs on the defensive end of the floor. The Owls would scrap their way back into the game after being held without a basket until nearly five minutes into the game, but ECU continued to shoot at a high clip, going 8-for-13 (.615) from the field to take a 19-16 lead into the second quarter.
Temple (13-7, 7-2 AAC) closed the second quarter with some momentum and it carried into the subsequent period by outscoring the Pirates, 25-7, from the time they trailed by 11 in the first period. Butts began to find her stroke from beyond the arc with three conversions and closed the half with 17 points to send the Owls into the intermission ahead, 39-29.
ECU shot 11-for-27 (.407) overall, 2-for-6 (.333) from three-point range and 5-for-8 (.625) in the first half, while Temple went 13-for-30 (.433) from the field, 4-for-10 (.400) from deep and made all nine free throw attempts.
The Owls found lanes to the basket at the start of the second half, scoring six-straight points on three field goals and forcing East Carolina into calling a timeout with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter. Temple created their first 20-point advantage, 53-33, with 4:11 remaining after a pair of free throws by Covile and held on to carry a 63-42 lead into the final period.
The Pirates cut their deficit to 19 after a layup by Holston with eight minutes to go, but the Owls did not take their feet off the gas pedal and created their largest lead of the game at 27 points with the score 81-54 with 4:01 remaining. Holston made three free throws and a jumper inside the final two minutes, and despite ECU outscoring Temple in the fourth quarter, the visitors closed out the 20-point victory.
ECU finished the night shooting 24-for-59 (.407) overall, 3-for-10 (.300) from three and 12-for-19 (.632) at the foul line, while Temple shot 26-for-62 (.419) from the field, 7-for-18 (.389) beyond the arc and 24-for-26 (.923) at the stripe.
The Pirates held a 40-37 rebounding advantage but were outscored, 36-17, off turnovers and 20-14 off the bench.
East Carolina will remain at home to host Tulsa on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and available on the WatchESPN app.