Pirates Topped By Minutemen, 88-81
Dec. 22, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. --- East Carolina fell behind 14-0 in the first five minutes and was never able to completely overcome its slow start, falling to Massachusetts by seven, 88-81, at the Mullins Center Saturday afternoon.
Senior Maurice Kemp led the Pirates with 21 points, scoring 17 second half points on 7-of-11 shooting. Junior Robert Sampson added 14 and Akeem Richmond had 11 points. Sampson also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Chaz Williams, who converted 15-of-16 free throw attempts, scored 26 points to lead four Minutemen in double figures, while handing out 11 assists and playing all 40 minutes. Jesse Morgan and Terrell Vinson each had 15 points with Freddie Riley adding 14.
The Pirates (7-3) missed their first seven shots from the floor to fall behind by 14 as UMass (7-3) made 3-of-5 field goal attempts and 6-of-6 free throws. Back-to-back 3s by Raphiael Putney and Jesse Morgan capped the Minutemen scoring outburst to start the game. Kemp finally got ECU on the board with a jump shot with just under five minutes gone by.
The Minutemen extended their lead to 16, 31-15, with an old fashion 3-point with 6:08 to play. A pair of bookend 3s by Richmond sparked a 9-1 run that got the Pirates within eight, 32-24. A Chaz Williams' 3 extended UMass' lead back to 11 before before Richmond and Shamarr Bowden buried consecutive shots behind the arc to trim the Pirates' deficit to six, 36-30.
Richmond sank two free throw with 8.2 seconds left in the opening half to bring ECU within 3, but Morgan drained a 3 just before the halftime buzzer to send the Minutemen into the locker room with a six-point advantage.
ECU shot 54.5 percent (12-22) over the final 15 minutes of the first half and finished the half at 41.4 percent, while holding UMass to 36.4 percent in the initial frame. The Minutemen capitalized on 12-of-16 free throw attempts in the first half and nailed six 3s.
ECU pulled within three four minutes into the second half, only to have UMass respond with 16 aunanswered points and led 63-44 with 11:42 to play. The Minutemen maintained a double digit lead for the next 7:37 before the Pirates made another run.
Down by 19, 72-53, with 6:23 to play, ECU went on a 19-4 run over the next 3:04. Sampson scored five straight points to start the run before Kemp, Corvonn Gaines and Michael Zangari all scored inside. Paris Roberts-Campbell capped the run with a 3-pointer as the game approached the final three minutes.
Sampson drained a 3 from the top of a key with 1:03 to play to bring the Pirates within three, but that was as close as they would get.
Williams then made 6-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the UMass victory.
ECU committed 20 turnovers, which translated into 24 UMass points. The Pirates made 8-of-21 3s and finished the game shooting 46.8 percent overall from the field.
However, UMass made 10-of-21 3-pointers and converted 26-of-31 free throw opportunities, including 14-of-15 after halftime. The Minutemen finished shooting 40.6 percent from the field.