Kemp And Paul Lead ECU To Record Win On Senior Night
March 9, 2013
Paul and Kemp combined for 43 points as East Carolina avenged its worst loss of the season with an 86-79 win over Marshall inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, giving the Pirates a winning Conference USA record for the first time since joining the league in 2001-02.
The win also set the school record for most home wins with 13.
East Carolina will have a bye into the tournament quarterfinals Thursday. The Thundering Herd (13-18, 6-10), who defeated the Pirates 77-56 in their first regular-season meeting, will play a first-round game Wednesday.
Marshall had three players score 20 points lead by Robert Goff's career-high 27 points. Elijah Pittman had 21 and DeAndre Kane scored 20.
Armstrong scored ECU's first six points before Paul made back-to-back as the Pirates raced out to a 12-3 lead. ECU led for the final 18:13 of the opening frame and closed out the half on a 12-6 run with Kemp scoring the last six points and pushed the Pirates to a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Herd opened the second half with a 15-4 run to take its first lead since 3-2, 5:03 into the frame.
With the game tied at 46, Richmond scored seven straight points to give ECU a 53-46 advantage.
Marshall went on a 16-6 run, reclaimed the lead and went ahead by three, 62-59, with 5:58 to play.
Determined not to let the game slip away, Paul scored the next seven points, making four free throws and a pull-up 3 to give ECU a 66-62 lead.
The Herd pulled within one, 74-73, but Richmond answered with a 3 to stymie their momentum with 1:23 left. Sampson then made 1-of-2 foul shots for a 5-point cushion with 57 seconds to play.
Marshall pulled within three, three times in the final minute but Kemp and Paul combined to go 8-for-8 at the charity stripe in the closing 26 seconds.
Paul and Kemp were each subbed for with one second remaining and received a standing ovation from the crowd and a hug from Coach Lebo.
Both team shots 55.6 percent in the second half, but it was the foul line where the Pirates won the game. ECU made 27-of-33 free throws after halftime compared to 10-of-12 by Marshall, who had three players foul out.