Akeem Richmond’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gives Pirates a 77-74 victory over Weber State
From wire and staff reports
OGDEN, Utah April 2, 2013 – Akeem Richmond hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift East Carolina over Weber State 77-74 Tuesday night and claim the CollegeInsider.com tournament championship, capping the best season in school history.
Miguel Paul led East Carolina with 23 points and Maurice Kemp added 20 for the Pirates (23-12), who tied a school record for wins in a season set by the 1953-54 squad and won their first-ever Division I postseason championship.
Kemp was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player with Paul and Robert Sampson earning all-tournament team honors.
The Pirates trailed 71-65 with 2:50 remaining but closed on a 12-3 run. Kemp sank a 3 to cut the lead in half and Paul made a pair of free throws to make it a 2-point game with less than two minutes to play.
Following two missed fouls shots by Weber State, Paul tossed the ball up to Sampson for the game-tying layup. After Scott Bamforth made just one of two free throws, Paul hit Sampson streaking down the lane for the go-ahead slam.
Davion Berry then made then made just one of two foul shots to tie the game at 74 with 21 seconds to play. Weber State (30-7) made just 3 of 9 free throws in the final three minutes, making 9-of-19 free throws overall.
Bamfort led Weber State with 19 points, while Berry and Frank Otis had 16 apiece.
The loss was Weber State’s first at home since Dec. 15, a 10-point setback to Brigham Young. The Wildcats entered Tuesday’s game on a 14-game home winning streak.
The two teams traded the lead six times in the first 14 minutes before ECU used an 8-0 spurt to take the largest lead of the game by either side, seven points.
The Pirates shot 60 percent in the first half and led 42-35 at halftime with Ty Armstrong scoring all 10 of his points in the opening frame. ECU scored 28 points in the paint before halftime and tallied 38 inside the lane for the game.
Both teams ended the game shooting over 50 percent from the floor with ECU connecting on a season-high 58.1 percent of its shots (30-51) and the Wildcats making 52.7 percent (29-55) of their attempts.
Although they didn’t get to the foul line as often, the Pirates capitalized on more of their attempts, making 11 of 14.
Weber State opened the second half on an 9-2 run to tie the game at 44 in less than three minutes before taking a 48-46 lead. ECU then outscored the Wildcats 13-4 to reclaim its seven-point halftime advantage.