Pirates Take Down N.C. Central, 79-62
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Darrell Jenkins recorded his third career double-double and John Fields scored double figures for the third time in the last four games to lead East Carolina to a 79-62 win over North Carolina Central on Saturday.
Jenkins was one assist shy of a school-record with a career-high 13 assists while scoring 10 points. Fields scored 16 points to lead the Pirates (6-7) as did Cory Farmer, who posted a new season-high for scoring. Sam Hinnant also finished in double figures with 11 points.
"We did a lot of things well," said Pirate head coach Mack McCarthy. "We shot over 50 percent for the game, made more free throws than they attempted and we had 22 assists on 25 field goals is unbelievably good."
Charles Futrell led all scorers with 23 points, while J'Mell Walters netted 20 points for the Eagles (1-19).
The Pirates' victory was its sixth of the season, tying its win total for the entire 2006-07 campaign. The win was also their fourth win over a Division I opponent surpassing its win total over DI foes a year ago.
ECU has won back-to-back games over Division I opponents for the first time since defeating Wofford in consecutive games during November 2005.
Farmer scored 10 first half points, including seven in the opening five minutes, as the Pirates raced out to an early 10-point lead. He made his first three 3s with his third giving ECU a 19-6 advantage.
"The quick start was very good," said McCarthy. "The first group did a nice job of knowing what we wanted to do both offensively and defensively."
The Pirates' lead escalated to 21 just before halftime as James Legan buried a pull-up 3 with 1:36 remaining. Walters scored the final basket of the half and ECU held a 41-22 lead.
ECU pushed its lead to 25 less than three minutes into the second half before the Eagles went on a 20-7 run to get within 12, 57-45, with 11:41 remaining.
N.C. Central hung around, closing to within 61-51 on Futrell's 3-pointer with 8:59 to play. But the Eagles never got closer, and East Carolina went 5-for-6 at the line in the last 2 minutes to seal it.
Farmer's fourth 3-pointer of the night pushed the Pirates' lead back to 15. Jenkins' found him in the corner to give ECU a 66-51 lead as the clocked dipped under seven minutes remaining.
East Carolina shot a season-high 51 percent (25-of-49) from the floor and made double digit 3-point field goals (10) for a second consecutive game. North Carolina Central finished 24-of-55 (43.6 percent).
The Pirates travel to second-ranked Memphis to open Conference USA play on Wednesday night.