ECU's Barrage Of 3-Pointers Buries UCF, 89-75
Feb. 7, 2009
From staff and wire reports
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Jamar Abrams scored a career-high 25 points, hitting five of East Carolina's 15 3-pointers, to lead the Pirates to an 89-75 win over UCF inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Saturday night.
Abrams was 10-of-12 from the field, including 5-of 6-from 3-point range, to help the Pirates (12-10, 4-5 Conference USA) shoot a school record 63 percent (29-of-46) from the floor in a C-USA game.
"This is kind of a culmination of rededicating ourselves after our trip to Houston," said Pirate head coach Mack McCarthy. "In practice we have been focusing on what we have to do to get better and playing with more energy on a consistent basis. The practices are carrying over to the games."
Abrams set the tone for the game on the Pirates' first possession, slamming down an alley-oop pass from Brock Young to open the scoring. The game was tightly contested through the first 15 minutes of play before an Abrams' 3 ignited a 14-6 run to close the half.
East Carolina built a 43-33 halftime lead and missed only six shots from the field in the second half (13-of-19) to put away the Knights (15-8, 5-4).
The Pirates quickly extended their lead in the opening minutes following intermission as an old fashion 3-point play by Darrius Morrow and a pull-up jumper by Jontae Sherrod gave them a 14-point lead less then five minutes into the second half.
ECU opened the second 20 minutes on an 18-9 run capped by a 3 from Sam Hinnant for a 61-42 lead with 11:49 to play.
The Pirates were 15-of-24 from the 3-point line (62.5 percent), tying the school mark for most 3s made in a league game.
UCF mounted a late charge and trimmed ECU's lead down to nine, 76-67, with 4:51 remaining. Young and Hinnant then combined to sink five consecutive free throws to push the lead back to the final margin of 14.
Hinnant finished with 18 points, while James Legan scored 13 and Young and Sherrod added 12 points each for the Pirates. Young, who entered the game leading the nation in assists, dished out nine.
Jermaine Taylor, the leading scorer in Conference USA, dropped in 24 points for UCF. Kenrick Zondervan added 19 and Tony Davis had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Knights.
The Pirates return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 11, against Tulane. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. EST in New Orleans.