ECU Falls to Southern Miss By 10
March 6, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- R.L. Horton scored 14 points to lead Southern Miss to a 75-65 victory over East Carolina Saturday night in the regular season finale for both teams. With the victory, Southern Miss clinches the No. 6 seed in next week's Conference USA Tournament. The Pirates finished season in 10th place.
Angelo Johnson and Gary Flowers both added 13 points for the Golden Eagles (18-12, 8-8 Conference USA), while Sai'Quon Stone netted 12 points and Torye Pelham dropped in 10.
A trio of players finished in double figures for the Pirates (10-20, 4-12) led by Brock Young's 15. Darrius Morrow netted 13 points and Daquan Joyner added 10. Joyner and Morrow led the Pirates in rebounding with five apiece.
The tightly contested game was a one possession game for the first 15 minutes of the second half as neither side could claim more than a three-point advantage. Stone put Golden Eagles ahead by one lead with 6:52 with a pair of made free throws. USM never trailed again.
Southern Miss scored six unanswered points to take a seven-point lead with 4:37 to play, but the ECU pulled within under three minutes to play before Benji Awaji's 3-pointer gave USM a six-point cushion. Flowers layup extended the lead to eight with 1:48 remaining. ECU never got closer than six the remainder of the game. The Golden Eagles made 22-of-26 free throws (.846), while the Pirates made just 16-of-26.
USM raced out to a 17-5 advantage, scoring 11 unanswered points. Johnson's first 3-pointer of the game ignited the run followed by the first of two breakaway baskets by Pelham. Abrams was then whistled for his second foul on the offensive end and immediately called for a technical foul. Two made both technical fouls shots before Pelham capped the run with a dunk.
Determined not to let the game slip away in the early minutes, the Pirates used a 16-2 run, started by senior Greyson Sargent's 3-pointer, to take a 21-19 advantage. Wakefield Ellison's 3 tied the game at 19 before Joyner, who scored six consecutive points during the run, put ECU on top, 21-19, with 9:32 left in the half.
The two teams matched each other point-for-point over the next eight minutes before Gary Flowers gave USM a 32-31 lead with 46 seconds remaining. Gaines' offensive putback just before the halftime buzzer sent ECU into the locker room with a one-point lead.
Southern Miss shot better than 50 percent from the field in both halves. The Golden Eagles finished shooting 55.6 percent (25-45). ECU connected on 41.2 percent of its field goal attempts (21-51).
ECU will open play in the 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Championship on Wednesday , March 10, against Houston. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. EST/12 p.m. CST.