The Pirates outlasted the Spartans 76-73, rallying from 14 down
GREENVILLE, N.C. Nov. 17, 2012 – Junior guard Akeem Richmond scored 14 points during the 24-8 run as East Carolina erased a 14-point deficit and hung on to defeat UNCG, 76-73, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Friday night.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Richmond connected on 5-of-7 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 behind the arc. Conversely, senior Miguel Paul had no trouble getting going. After serving a two-game suspension, Paul scored 13 first half points and finished with a game-high 24 points. He connected on 7-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-5 behind the arc and 7-of-8 at the free throw line.
Senior forward Maurice Kemp joined the duo with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth career double-double and first of the season. He also distributed four assists and blocked two shots, while converting 8-of-10 free throws. Freshman Marshall Guilmette also added 10 points and five rebounds.
Led by a 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range by senior Korey Van Hussen, UNCG (1-2) took a 39-31 lead into halftime. The Spartans shot 58.3 percent behind the arc in the first half, as they drained 7-of-12. However, their hot shooting disappeared after halftime as the Pirates limited them to just 36.4 percent (4-of-11) in the second half. Van Hussen made just a single layup in the second half to finish his night with 18 points.
Trevis Simpson led the Spartans with 19 points, while Kayel Locked added 14.
Facing a 54-40 deficit with just over 15 minutes to play, Shamarr Bowden scored going strong to the basket to begin an 11-0 spurt, capped by Richmond’s first 3 of the game with 10:48 remaining.
Richmond scored 11 consecutive points to cap a 19-6 run and bring ECU (3-0) to within one, 60-59. After each team scored in its ensuing possession, Richmond put the Pirates ahead to stay with his fourth 3-pointer of the night with 6:33 to play. As the ECU offense began to assert itself, the Pirate defense held the Spartans without a field goal for nearly seven minutes and to just one field goal over a 13-minute stretch.
The Pirates extended their lead to seven, 73-66, with 49 seconds to play as Paul scored seven of their final 12 points.
UNCG continued to battle to the end with Simpson converting a 4-point play with 14 seconds left to cut ECU’s lead to two, 75-73.
Robert Sampson was fouled on the in-bounds play and converted 1-of-2 free throw attempts for a 3-point cushion. The Spartans then misfired on a pair of 3-point attempts to end the game.
The Spartans held an 11-point lead less than minutes into the game making a trio of 3-pointers. UNCG held a 15-4 advantage early before ECU went on a 19-8 run to tie the game at 23-all. ECU took its first lead of the game at 27-26 on a pair of free throws by Kemp with 5:13 left in the half.
UNCG held the Pirates to just two points in the final four minutes of the opening half; outscoring them 10-2 to take an 8-point lead into the locker room.