Greenville, N.C. – Four of ECU Women’s Basketball’s five starters set career-highs in the Pirates’ 66-53 win over USC Upstate on Friday night inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Raven Johnson set the pace leading all scorers with 21 points while going 6-for-10 from the field and an impressive 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Thais Oliveira had a breakout game after seeing limited minutes most of last season due to injury. The senior tallied a career-high 14 points and 13 rebounds to log her first career double-double as a Pirate.
Sophomores Justice Gee and Dominique Claytor also had career highs scoring nine points each.
USC Upstate was led by Rylie Parkhurst who had 13 points while Anda Kuzmina was second in scoring with 11 points. The Spartans were plagued with turnovers causing 30 while ECU capitalized for 21 steals.
ECU (1-0), USC Upstate (0-1)
Macy’s opening statement
“Any win is a good win and I was telling the kids in general, any win is very difficult and even if it is done not as well as you wanted to have played, you have to enjoy all of those and we would much rather learn from winning than learn from the other. So with that, I really liked the adjustment they made coming out in the second half. They did a good job attacking the offensive glass and really pushing the ball in transition.”
Macy on the performances of Raven Johnson and Thais Oliveira
“Well they’ve worked their tails off. The bottom line is we all went after it really hard the first day that we got back at it at the end of last season so these guys have been in the gym. They’ve committed to what we’ve done from a conditioning perspective, from a work ethic standpoint. So to see them experience some success so early is hopefully just reassuring them that they are doing the right things.”
Raven Johnson on wanting to be on the Court
“We just want to win as a program, so of course when were down, or things aren’t going our way, we just want to win. It’s not necessarily me putting the ball in, it’s just me trying to make sure that I can do what I need to do for the girl beside me, so we can come out with the W.”
Thais Oliveira on feeling more confident this season
“Since the summer, I’ve been completely healthy, so that feels a lot different. Tonight, I just tried to focus on what coach told me, to be aggressive, catch the ball, and make the best option.”
Team 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Total
USC Upstate 18 17 9 9 53
ECU 14 11 21 20 66
News and Notes
– ECU improves to 7-1 in home openers under head coach Heather Macy.
– The Pirates are 6-2 in season openers during Macy’s tenure at ECU.
– Macy earned her 119th win at the helm of the program and is nine victories shy of passing Sharon Baldwin-Tenner as the program’s head coach with the most wins.
– ECU’s 21 steals mark the first time the Pirates have had 20 or more steals in a game since tallying 24 vs. SMU on February 18, 2015.
– Four of the Pirate’s five starters had a career-high in the win.
– Thais Oliveira becomes the first player to have seven or more offensive rebounds since Kristen Gaffney (9 vs. Tulsa 1/31/17) with eight.
– Mickayla Sanders was the Pirates’ only bench player to score tallying seven points in her career debut.
ECU hits the road to face in-state foe UNCW Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. The Pirates are 30-21 all-time against the Seahawks. Tuesday’s game will see a familiar face on the court as UNCW’s head coach Karen Barefoot previously coached against Macy while at Old Dominion when the two were in Conference USA.