Pirates Rally in Second Half but Still Fall to Memphis 67-54
Jan. 9, 2013
From staff and wire reports
MEMPHIS, Tenn. --- Joe Jackson scored 15 points, Shaq Goodwin added 12 points and eight rebounds and Memphis overcame a second-half flurry from East Carolina to defeat the Pirates 67-54 Wednesday night.
Jackson was 7 of 11 from the field as Memphis (11-3, 1-0 Conference USA) won its fifth straight. D.J. Stephens had six points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Tigers.
Shamarr Bowden, who keyed a second-half run for East Carolina (9-5, 0-1), and Maurice Kemp led the Pirates with 11 points each. Robert Sampson and Miguel Paul finished with 10 points apiece. Paul was 2 for 7 from the field, but 2 of 3 from outside the arc.
Memphis led by 27 in the first half, but East Carolina used 3-point shooting to score 21 straight points spanning the first and second halves to make the game interesting.
Kemp scored the final seven points of the first half with a dunk, jumper and old fashion 3-point play to trim the Pirates' halftime deficit to 20, 39-19.
ECU was held to under 20 points by Memphis for a second consecutive half after scoring just 15 second half points against the Tigers at FedExForum last season.
Jackson had seven points for Memphis, which shot 48.6 percent for the half (17 of 35). Kemp and Paul had seven points each for the Pirates, who managed 30 percent from the field (6 of 20) and committed 12 turnovers.
By that point, Memphis had outrebounded the Pirates 23-11, 10 of the Tigers rebounds coming from the offensive glass.
The second half opened with Bowden making a pair of 3-pointers with a Sampson jumper sandwiched between to force the Tigers to take a timeout as their lead shrunk to 12.
Sampson and Bowden nailed back-to-back 3s out of the timeout as ECU reduced Memphis' lead to six, 39-33, 2:38 after halftime, scoring the first 14 points of the half.
East Carolina got within five on two occassions, the final coming with 9:13 to play. The Tigers then scored the next six points to extend their lead back to double figures.
The Pirates continued to cut into the lead and got inisde single digits on several occasions, but they could get no closer than 61-54 on Sampson's 3-pointer with 3:04 remaining.
Memphis ended the night with a 41-23 rebounding advantage, including 14 offensive rebounds leading to 13 second-chance points.
East Carolina connected on a 3-pointer to start the game, but that was the biggest highlight for a while for the Pirates.
East Carolina went 8-plus minutes after that without a field goal as Memphis forced turnovers and got on the boards.
The Tigers scored 13 unanswered points for the first double-digit lead of the game and built the advantage to as much as 39-12.