Pirates Beat SMU For First C-USA Home Win
Feb. 1, 2012
From wire and staff reports
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Robert Sampson scored 13 points and Maurice Kemp added 11 for East Carolina in a 62-43 win over SMU Wednesday night, securing the Pirates' first home Conference USA victory of the season.
In a contest that was close early and tied at 12-all with 11 minutes until halftime, Darrius Morrow's three-point play started a 10-0 Pirates run. East Carolina (11-10, 2-6) led the rest of the way, taking a 31-17 lead at intermission and outscoring the Mustangs 31-26 in the second half.
The Pirates held SMU (10-12, 2-6) scoreless for more than six minutes to take a 22-12 lead capped by a thunderous follow dunk from Kemp, who had scored ECU's first seven points of the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Miguel Paul and Shamarr Bowden pushed the Pirates out to their largest lead of the half, 28-14, with just under three minutes left before intermission.
Corvonn Gaines' buzzer beating 3 gave ECU a 14-point halftime lead, 31-17.
The Pirates connected on 12-of-27 shots in the first half for a 44.4-percent clip and clamped down on the defensive end as they held SMU, who was playing without its leading scorer Robert Nyakundi, to 7-of-18 from the field. The Mustangs made five of their first nine field goals attempts, but made just 2-of-9 the final 13 minutes of the first half.
ECU grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 52-25 after back-to-back 3-pointers from the top of the key by Sampson. Sampson and Bowden each knocked down three 3-pointers for the Pirates, who shot 10 of 28 from the arc (35.7 percent). The Mustangs were 0-of-11 from long range.
The Pirates finished the game 23-for-48 from the field, just under 48-percent. The defense was equally as impressive as it held the Mustangs to just 43 points, the fewest points allowed by the Pirates since 2005. It was the lowest point total given up by ECU since 2005.
Jalen Jones led SMU with 11 points and eight rebounds.
East Carolina returns to action on Saturday evening with a Conference USA clash against the Rice Owls. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. EST inside Minges Coliseum.