East Carolina Held Off by Charlotte, 76-64
Dec. 1, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The East Carolina men's basketball team suffered its first setback of the year Saturday night, falling to a more physical Charlotte team, 76-64, inside Halton Arena. The 49ers outscored the Pirates 46-24 in the paint and had a plus-24 rebounding advantage.
"They exerted their will upon us," ECU Head Coach Jeff Lebo said. "They're as physical a team as we've faced this year, but we didn't execute particularly well. ... Their strength and size dominated the game."
Senior Maurice Kemp led the Pirates with 16 points while senior Miguel Paul and sophomore Paris Roberts-Campbell each scored 12 points. Freshman Michael Zangari came off the bench to grab a team-high five rebounds.
Chris Braswell paced the 49ers with a game-high 18 points, while Willie Clayton recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. DeMario Mayfield scored 12 points and Terrence Williams had 11 to conclude the list of double figure scorers for the 49ers.
Charlotte (7-0) led wire-to-wire scoring the game's first five points, building a 15 point lead during the first 15 minutes of the contest. Eighteen of the Niners' first 25 point came inside the paint. The Pirates made four of their first eight shots, but couldn't stop Charlotte, which made 10 of its first 15 field goal attempts.
The Niners extended their lead to 18 when Ivan Benkovic made their lone 3-pointer of the game with 8:46 remaining in the first half. ECU (5-1) slowly trimmed its deficit inside of double figures using a 16-7 run to pull within nine, 35-26, with 2:12 left in the first stanza.
Clayton made two free throws with 2:08 left in the first half to send Charlotte into halftime with a 37-26 lead.
Zangari scored the first bucket of the second half to cut the Niners' lead back inside double figures, but that was as close as the Pirates got. Charlotte scored the next five points and ECU was never able to get its deficit under 10 again.
Although, ECU never allowed Charlotte to go on an extended run, it was never able to mount a charge as they were whistled for 13 second half fouls. The Niners marched to the foul line 22 times in the second half and converted 15 free throw attempts.
Charlotte made 25-of-37 free throw attempts, while the Pirates connected on just 14-of-22.
The Niners lead ballooned to 19 points, 75-56, with 2:48 remaining. ECU scored eight of the game's final nine points to a 12-point margin of defeat.
ECU, who limited Georgia State to five offensive rebounds on Monday night, was limited to just two offensive rebounds. Charlotte had more defensive rebounds (31) than the Pirates had total rebounds (21).
The Pirates return to the hardwood on Tuesday against St. Andrews. The game is part of a doubleheader with the ECU women's team who host N.C. Central at 5:30 p.m. The men's game is schedule to begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Fans bringing a new unopened toy will receive a $5 off the price of admission. Anyone purchasing a ticket to the women's game will receive free admission to the men's game.