Feb. 8, 2013
Things To Know About The Game
East Carolina didn't have a mid-week game this week and will be playing its first contest since Saturday, Feb. 2 at Rice. ECU posted a 79-63 victory over the Owls.
UCF handed Southern Miss its first loss of the season Wednesday night, defeating the Golden Eagles 60-58.
The Pirates stand two games behind UCF for third-place in the conference. The Knights have a 6-2 league mark, while the Pirates are 4-4.
ECU split its four road games during the first half of the conference season and UCF won all four of its league home games.
The two teams have played the same opponent four times this year. Both teams defeated UAB, Houston and Rice and both teams lost at Marshall.
The Pirtaes have won two of the last three meetings at the UCF Arena, which included ECU Coach Jeff Lebo's first C-USA road win in 2011.
ECU will be looking to have a winning record through nine league games for the second time in three seasons under coach Lebo. The Pirates were 5-4 through nine C-USA games in 2011.
UCF leads Conference USA in 3-point field goal defense (.306). East Carolina has been held under 30 percent shooting in each of the its last three games. The Pirates are a cumulative 11-of-46 (.239) behind the arc in those games.
ECU junior Akeem Richmond leads the league with 2.4 3-pointers per game, while UCF sophomore Kasey Wilson leads the conference with .549 3-point shooting percentage.
The Knights won the first nine meetings in the series, but ECU has won six of the last 10.
East Carolina has overcome two double digit deficits against the Knights in the past seven meetings. The Pirtaes rallied from 14 down in Orlando to win 68-66 in 2010 and also rallied from 17 down at home earlier this year for an 88-85 overtime win.
The first meeting in the series occurred during the 2000-01 season when ECU was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and UCF was in the Atlantic Sun conference.
ECU and UCF have gone head-to-head in the Conference USA Championship twice, splitting the two games. UCF posted a 65-52 in the 2006 opening round before the Pirates returned the favor five years later, 75-60, in the 2011 first round.
Saturday's game will mark the 20th meeting between the Pirates and Knights. ECU has been UCF more times than any other C-USA opponent except Southern Miss (20), whom they've yet to play this year.
Last Time We Met
Senior Corvonn Gaines drained a 3-pointer just before the overtime buzzer, capping a comeback from a 17-point second-half deficit and giving East Carolina a wild 88-85 victory over UCF inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. It was Gaines' only shot of the game. After UCF senior Keith Clanton, who poured in a career-high 36 points, tied the game by powering to the basket for a layup with 14 seconds to play, Miguel Paul took the inbound pass from the baseline and dribbled into the frontcourt. Paul drove and kicked it out to Gaines for the win. UCF's hail mary toward the basket fell short and Gaines was mobbed by his teammates
Ty Armstrong, Maurice Kemp, Shamarr Bowden and Paul each scored 16 points for ECU with Robert Sampson positing a double-double, netting 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Paul also handed out 11 assists for his first double-double of the season. Tristan Spulock produced a double-double for UCF (11-5, 1-1 C-USA) with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
The Pirates were able to force overtime after trailing by 17 points, 59-42, with 11:49 to play. Kemp started a 12-3 run that brought the Pirates within eight, 62-54, with 7:09 to play. Bowden sank back-to-back 3s to make it a three-point game, 72-69, with 3:47 to play. After Sampson cut the lead to one with a thunderous dunk, Paul completed a three-point play to tie the game at 72 before Kemp gave ECU the lead with a pair of free throws with 59 seconds to play in regulation. Clanton then tied the game with another power move to basket with 17 seconds left in the second half. Paul had a chance to win the game, but was striped by Kasey Wilson and the game moved into the extra period.
The two teams traded baskets three times in the extra session before Bowden made a 3-pointer to put the Pirates ahead, 85-83, with 1:20 left.
Notes, Streaks And Trends
East Carolina has scored over 79 points in each of its last five wins and have been held under 70 in each of its last four losses. The Pirates are 11-3 when scoring over 70 points this season, but just 2-5 when scoring 69 or less.
After yielding 50 percent shooting against UCF and Houston, the Pirates have held each of their last five opponents under the mark.
The Pirates have recorded double digit steals in three of the last four games, including 10 in each of the last two. ECU ranks second in the league in steals per game (9.0) against C-USA opponents.
East Carolina has made over 20 free throws in two of the last three games. The Pirates are 5-1 this year when making at least 20 foul shots with their only loss coming to North Carolina.
The Pirates have won back-to-back C-USA road games for the first time since 2011 when it defeated UCF and Marshall on consecutive game dates.
Senior Maurice Kemp has scored double figures in 14straight games and currently leads C-USA in scoring (17.5 ppg).
Junior transfer Ty Armstrong has scored double figures in four straight games, averaging 17.8 points per game. Armstrong has played over 20 minutes in all eight conference games after eclipsing the 20-minute mark just once in non-conference play.
Senior Miguel Paul has distributed more assists than he's committed turnovers in four straight games (29:10). He is averaging 7.5 assists per game in league play and has 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
ECU will return home for the first time in two weeks Wednesday as it hosts UAB inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum at 7 p.m. EST.