Amaya Ransom tallied 15 points, Nyilah Jamison-Myers added 13 points and three blocks, but the Charlotte 49ers were unable to close out rival ECU in a 58-55 loss on Thursday. Ransom and Jamison-Myers were joined in double figures by Laia Raventos’ 12 points and four steals, and all three of them collected seven rebounds apiece. Octavia Wilson and Jaida Robinson both added six rebounds apiece.
East Carolina was led by Necole Hope’s 15 points and Ariyana Williams’ 14 points. Thais Oliveira added a near double-double with 10 points and eight boards before fouling out in 23 minutes of action. Williams drained four three-pointers in the contest and Hope had three, and the Pirates outscored the Niners on the perimeter 27-6. ECU hit nine of their 26 attempts from tri-fecta land while Charlotte shot 2-7 (28.6 percent).
“Very disappointing game for us. I felt like, over our first six games, we were getting better as a team, and tonight we took several steps back,” Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra said. “We’re a better team than what we showed tonight, and I think that’s the most disappointing thing. … The number of missed layups, missed free throws were completely controllable on our end.”
Charlotte started off slow, as they shot 3-11 (27.3 percent) in the first quarter. Jamison-Myers started cooking early in the game, but the Pirates rattled off runs of 5-0 and then 6-2 to end the quarter up 15-10. The Pirates didn’t fare much better, shooting 6-22 (27.3 percent), but were able to end the quarter on a high note.
ECU kept rolling right into the second quarter, starting off with a 9-0 run on the strength of three straight treyballs. The Pirates built their biggest lead of the game, going up 30-16 around the midway point of the quarter. However, Charlotte raised their field goal percentage to 38 percent on the way to a 9-1 run to end the quarter. The Niners went into the half down 31-26.
The Pirates went on a mini 5-1 run to open the third quarter, but Charlotte started chipping away at the deficit. First, the 49ers went on a 6-3 run, followed by an 8-0 run, to gain their first lead of the night. Charlotte converted 7 of their 13 field goal attempts (54 percent) compared to 5 of 17 (29 percent) for ECU. The Niners went ahead 46-43 at the third quarter buzzer.
The game slowed down in pace but picked up in excitement in the fourth. The teams battled back and forth and the game had multiple lead changes, culminating in a tie ball game at 53 with less than four minutes remaining. Williams hit her final, go-ahead three-pointer with less than three minutes remaining, and Charlotte was unable to recover. The Niners, who shot 15-30 from the free throw line in the contest, went cold in the fourth quarter. Wilson missed a free throw that would’ve tied the game at 56 after a foul, and Charlotte went 1-7 from the line in the final frame. ECU’s Justice Gee knocked down her free throws to give ECU a 58-55 lead, but Charlotte’s long three-point attempt at the buzzer didn’t go down.
“This was a winnable game for us. If we control what we should, we win this game,” Consuegra said. “The bottom line is, no matter where we play, we have to become a better team in practice, and we have to put in work on our own. And we have to go out and play up to our potential. If we do that, we have a chance to be a really good team.”
With the win, ECU improved to 3-4 on the year, while Charlotte fell to 2-5. However, the Niners’ road trip is complete, and they will host the Coppin State Eagles at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be their first home game since mid-November. In partnership with CMPD, fans can receive free admission if they bring a stuffed animal to donate.