WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State committed a season-high 27 turnovers in a 66-57 loss to East Carolina Saturday afternoon in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (12-8, 2-5) and East Carolina went into the final quarter tied at 46, but the Pirates outscored the Shockers 20-11 over the final 10 minutes.
Trajata Colbert recorded her third double-double of the season behind a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. Curtessia Dean pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds to go with 13 points, marking her second double-double. DJ McCarty added 11 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Jane Asinde just missed a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds.
Wichita State pounded East Carolina on the glass, 51-22, both season highs in total rebounds and rebound margin. The difference in the game was turnovers. East Carolina scored 40 of its 66 points off Wichita State’s 27 turnovers. Both of which were season highs. The Pirates committed only 10 turnovers.
Wichita State cooled off as the game wore on, finishing at 37 percent from the field and 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. East Carolina came in as the worst three-point shooting team in the conference and one of the worst in the country but made 7-of-20.
Behind 10 combined points from McCarty and Colbert, Wichita State grabbed a 16-14 lead after one quarter of play. Wichita State hit seven of its 15 attempts from the floor in the opening frame, while ECU went 6-of-15.
After the Shockers made it 20-16 on a Jeniah Thompson jumper with 7:35 left in the half, ECU went on a 10-0 run to take a 26-20 lead. During the run Wichita State turned the ball over seven times. Sixteen of ECU’s 26 points had come off 12 Wichita State turnovers.
A Colbert floater in the lane snapped the drought and then a McCarty three-pointer with under a minute to go cut it to 30-26, but the Pirates would finish the half with five points in a matter of seconds. After two free throws and another Wichita State turnover, ECU capped the half with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to make it 35-26 at the half.
ECU outscored Wichita State 21-10 in the second quarter.
Despite missing five of its six attempts from long range, ECU shot nearly 50 percent from the field behind 19 points off 13 Wichita State turnovers.
McCarty (8), Colbert (7) and Dean (6) accounted for 21 of Wichita State’s 26 points in the first half. Meanwhile for ECU, Micah Dennis and Danae McNeal feasted in the open court and at the rim. McNeal led all scorers with 16, followed by Dennis’ 13.
Just like the last time out vs. SMU, Wichita State came out of the locker room and almost immediately erased the halftime deficit. Behind a 12-2 run, Wichita State led 38-37 barely four minutes into the third.
The Shockers pushed it to four with less than 2:00 minutes left in the third, only to see ECU answer with back-to-back three-pointers to retake the lead. Two Jane Asinde free throws tied it at 46 with play heading to the final period.
Wichita State won the third quarter vs. SMU, 20-10, and today vs. ECU, 20-11.
The start of the fourth quarter could not have been worse for Wichita State over the first four minutes. ECU cashed in three wide open three-pointers to take a 55-46 lead, forcing a Wichita State timeout.
That hole would prove to be too big to dig out of, as the Pirates never let it get closer than four in the final 4:04. Free throws in the final minutes put ECU ahead by as many as 11.
Wichita State has the week off before traveling to Cincinnati for Round 2 vs. the Bearcats on Saturday, Jan. 28.