Pirates Edged By Spartans

UABSPORTS.COM Coach Stokes' squad returns to action Saturday at home against Western Carolina.
Coach Stokes' squad returns to action Saturday at home against Western Carolina.

Dec. 6, 2005

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - UNC Greensboro made eight threes and shot 63 percent from the field in the second half to defeat East Carolina, 78-70, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum Tuesday night. The Spartans connected on 17-of-27 field goal attempts after halftime following its 30.4 percent shooting performance in the first half.

UNCG guards Dwayne Johnson, Ricky Hickman and Kevin Oleksiak combined to make 15 of 21 three-point shots for 71 percent. Johnson particularly had the hot hand making 5-of-6 treys, all in the second half. Hickman led all scorers with 24 points, while Oleksiak finished with 23 points.

"I want to give [UNC] Greensboro a lot of credit for hitting the necessary shots when they had to, and for playing very well," said Pirate head coach Ricky Stokes. "Good players make good shots, and they definitely made some good shots tonight."

ECU put four players in double figures led by freshman Sam Hinnant, who scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Junior Courtney Captain netted 13 points, while senior Corey Rouse and sophomore Tom Hammonds each added 11.



The first half was a half of runs by both teams, but ended tie at 25-all. The Pirates scored the first six points of the non-conference game. The Spartans then went on a 14-2 run to take a six-point lead midway through the first half, but East Carolina responded with a 17-4 run of its own to move back ahead.

ECU (3-3) held a seven-point lead with 2:44 remaining until intermission, but UNCG (5-3) scored the final seven points of the period to send the game into halftime tied.

The Spartans then drilled a trio of threes in the first four minutes to seize a seven-point lead, 38-31. East Carolina responded with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, capped by Hammonds' third three-pointer of the game, to regain the lead and capture a six-point cushion, 46-40.

UNCG answered ECU's run with a 19-6 spurt over the next seven minutes to take a seven-point advantage.

Hinnant drilled back-to-back triples to pull the Pirates within four with 2:59 remaining, 62-58, but the Spartans had an answer for every Pirate basket and capitalized on each ECU miss at the other end either at the foul line or from the field. UNCG pushed its lead to 11 with 0:24 left before claiming an eight-point victory and sending ECU to its second consecutive loss.

ECU will return to action on Saturday, December 10, against its second straight Southern Conference opponent, Western Carolina. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Greenville.