Dec. 22, 2011
|East Carolina 69, Gardner-Webb 55|
|Pirate Basketball Central|
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From wire and staff reports
GREENVILLE, N.C. --Darrius Morrow and Maurice Kemp each recorded double-doubles as East Carolina won its third consecutive game by defeating Gardner-Webb 69-55 on Thursday night.
Morrow had 19 points and 10 rebounds while Kemp scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. The two big men combined to go 14-of-29 from the floor and 9-of-14 from the free throw line along with corralling 23 of the Pirates' 38 rebounds.
"It's a good win for us tonight against a very well-coached basketball team in Gardner-Webb," Pirate head coach Jeff Lebo said. "I knew we were going to have to go out and beat them, because they weren't going to beat themselves."
The Pirates rushed out to an early 16-9 lead and held the lead for the first 13 minutes before Gardner-Webb held them without a point for nearly five minutes to assume a 27-25 advantage.
Bowden put the Pirates back on top, 28-27, with a rare 4-point play with 4:55 remaining as they closed the first half with a 6-2 run to lead by two at intermission, 31-29.
"We missed a lot of shots in the first half, including a lot of easy shots around the rim, some open 12 to 15 footers by pretty good shooters, so I felt we could have been up 12 to 14 points at half," Lebo stated.
Bulldog guard Max Landis opened the second half with a 3-pointer giving Gardner-Webb its final lead of the evening 28 seconds after halftime. Morrow then scored five of the Pirates' next seven points as part of 12-4 that gave them a 43-36 cushion.
Gardner-Webb scored six unanswered points before the Pirates exploded with a 15-4 run, highlight by back-to-back 3s from Bowden and Corvonn Gaines, to take a 58-46 lead with 4:19 to play. The lead never dipped below double digits the rest of the way.
Gaines made a pair of 3s as part of the run, igniting the offense and the crowd.
"It's good to see Corvonn make some shots," Lebo said. "He is probably relieved to see the ball go through the bucket as well. He has made some big shots for us in the past, so it's not surprising. The two he made tonight at the end of the shot clock that were huge."
East Carolina shot better than 40 percent for the third straight game, hitting 42.9 percent (21-of-49) from the field. The Pirates also were hot from the foul line, making 22-of-28 free throw attempts.
The also continued to take advantage of their opponents miscues, scoring 15 points off 16 Bulldogs turnovers. ECU also doubled-up Gardner-Webb in the paint, 28-14, and held the Bulldogs to .097 below their season shooting percentage.
Landis and Tashan Newsome each scored 12 points for the Bulldogs (6-8), who lost their second straight game.
The Pirates will return to action Thursday, Dec. 29 against North Carolina Central. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.