ECU Sprints Past UCF, 75-60
March 9, 2011
From wire and staff reports
EL PASO, Texas - Darrius Morrow's double-double propelled East Carolina to a 75-60 victory over UCF in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Wednesday.
Morrow had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the eighth-seeded Pirates (17-14), who will face top-seeded UAB (22-7) in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Jamar Abrams hit four 3-pointers among his 15 points, and Robert Sampson went 3-for-3 on 3-pointers in scoring 12 for East Carolina, which went 10 of 17 from long range. Brock Young added nine points, seven assists and five steals.
Keith Clanton scored 15 points to pace the ninth-seeded Knights (19-11). Isaac Sosa scored 11, and Marcus Jordan had seven assists.
ECU built a 10-point lead midway through the first half. A basket in the paint by Morrow, 3s from Sampson and Erin Straughn and a breakaway lay-up from Young gave the Pirates a 20-10 lead.
The Knights then went on a 15-2 run to take a 25-22 lead capped by the first of three consecutive 3-pointers from Isaac Sosa. Sosa scored 11 of UCF's next 14 points as it led 36-29 with 59 seconds remaining.
Following another 3 from Sampson, a scuffle broke lose in the pursuit of a loose ball that resulted in the ejection of Dave Diakite and technical fouls on Morrow and Corvonn Gaines.
Young made 2-of-4 free throws for ECU and Jordan sank 3-of-4 foul shots following the technicals.
UCF led 39-34 at intermission.
East Carolina had closed within 43-41 when Morrow scored six straight points to make it 47-43 with 13:03 left and put the Pirates ahead to stay.
The Pirates went on a 30-11 run over a nine-minute stretch to take a 14-point lead, 64-50, with 7:38 to play. They led by as many as 17 points.