ECU Tops UTSA in C-USA First Round, 79-76



March 11, 2014

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East Carolina
  1ST 2ND F
New Skull And Crossbones38 41 79
Charlotte 49ers 47 29 76
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El Paso, Texas • Attendance: 4,226

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From staff and wire reports

EL PASO, Texas -- Akeem Richmond scored 36 points, including a Conference USA and school-record 11 3-pointers, as 12th-seeded East Carolina beat No. 13 seed UTSA, 79-76 in the first round of the Conference USA tournament on Tuesday night.

The Pirates (17-15) advance to play tournament host UTEP, the No. 5 seed, Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT/ 6 p.m. MDT. The Miners defeated the Pirates, 58-47, in Greenville earlier this season.

Richmond moved into fourth on the NCAA list for most 3-point field goals made in season (150) and is now tied with Jack Leasure for 9th all-time with 411 in his career. He also set the Conference USA single-season record for 3s, breaking the mark of 145 set by former Houston guard Robert McKiver during the 2007-08 season.

UTSA (8-22) rushed out to a 19-5 lead in the seven minutes as the Roadrunners made thier first seven field goals, including three behind the arc. ECU was just 2-of-8 from the field in the opening seven minutes with four turnovers.

The Pirates deficit reached its peak at 46-28 with 3:14 to play in the half. East Carolina ended the half on a 10-1 run to cut UTSA's lead to nine at halftime, 47-38, with Paris Roberts-Campbell scoring the final six points of the first 20 minutes.

Roberts-Campbell finished with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting with a trio of 3-pointers.

UTSA shot 65.4 percent (17-26) from the floor in the opening half, making 6-of-10 3-pointers. The Pirates shot a respectable 44.0 (11-25) percent overall, and 7-of-16 behind the arc. Richmond made 5-of-10 3-pointers before halftime.

After UTSA scored the opening basket of the second half, ECU used a 21-2 run -- including four 3-pointers by Richmond -- to open up seven-point lead with 10:49 remaining. The Pirates used a 40-8 run over a 16:43 span over both halves to build a 13-point cushion, 68-55, with 6:31 to play.

Devon Agusi's 3 with 5 seconds left pulled UTSA within two but, after Prince Williams made 1 of 2 free throws on the other end, Agusi, who paced the Roadrunners with 21 points, missed a trey at the buzzer and the Pirates held on for the win and posted the program's second largest comeback since 1981.

The Pirates had the hot hand in the second half, connecting on 55.0 percent of its attempts from the floor, including 7-of-13 3-point attempts. UTSA stroked the nets to a tune of just 30.8 percent. Both teams finish the game shooting 48 percent.

East Carolina made a total of 14 3-pointers, tying its season-high and moving within one of the school record for 3s in a season (274).

Freshman Caleb White added nine points in the victory and in the process became the third ECU freshman to score 400 points during his rookie season.