ECU Falls To SMU, 46-41
Feb. 2, 2011
From staff and wire reports
DALLAS --- SMU did not allow a field goal for the final 14 minutes Wednesday against East Carolina, outscoring the Pirates 23-6 during that span to rally for a 46-41 victory.
The Mustangs (14-8, 5-3 Conference USA) prevailed despite scoring their fewest points since a 49-45 loss to UTEP on Jan. 6, 2010. The 46 points was SMU's lowest point total in a victory since a 44-38 win over Texas A&M on Feb. 11, 1992.
East Carolina (12-10, 4-4) led 35-23 after Jontae Sherrod's 3-pointer with 14:02 remaining, but missed its final 13 field goal attempts and turned the ball over nine times during that stretch. The Pirates got their only points during that span on six free-throw attempts, and shot just 25.5 percent from the field for the game.
Following a pair of free throws by Chad Wynn, the Pirates held and 11-point lead with 10:57 remaining. Robert Nyakundi then made a 3-pointer for SMU, which scored five unanswered to pull within four, 37-33, with 6:52 to play.
After Brock Young made two free throws to push the ECU lead back to six, Dia scored four straight points before Mike Walker drained a 3-pointer with 2:35 remaining to give the Mustangs the lead for good.
The Pirates went nearly five minutes without scoring, yet only trailed by one after Jontae Sherrod made two free throws with 1:44 to play.
SMU turned the ball over on its ensuing possession giving the Pirates a chance to go ahead, but they could not take advantage. ECU had two shots to go-ahead or tie in the the final minute, but couldn't find the basket.
Young had 15 points for East Carolina, which was held to its lowest point since a 74-40 loss to Clemson on Dec. 29, 2004. Erin Straughn tied his career-high with 12 rebounds.
Papa Dia had 13 points, including 11 in the second half, and 13 rebounds to lead SMU. Walker added 12 points and Jeremiah Samarrippas had 10.
ECU held SMU to just 19 points in the first half and 30.4 percent shooting. However, the Pirates scored just 16 points after halftime and made just 15.8 percent of their field goal attempts (3-19).
The Pirates return to action Saturday, Feb. 5 against UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.