Feb. 22, 2013
|East Carolina vs. SMU
Feb. 20, 2013 | 3 p.m. EST
Moody Coliseum | Dallas, Texas
TV: TWC Sports Channel
|Watch | Live Stats | Game Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central|
Things To Know About The Game
East Carolina enters the game with an overall record of 15-10 and 6-6 in Conference USA, tied for fifth-place in the league standings.
The Pirates have won three of their last four road games. A win over SMU would give ECU its fourth C-USA road win of the season, a program best.
A win would secure a winning season for the Pirates for the second time in three years under coach Jeff Lebo. ECU didn't finish with a winning record in any of the 13 seasons prior to his arrival.
ECU leads Conference USA in 3-point field goals made per game (7.5), while SMU ranks 12th (3.9).
The Pirates are averaging nearly 77 points per game (76.9), but SMU is holding its foes to just 62.0 ppg.
ECU Head Coach Jeff Lebo played one season with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, coached by current SMU Head Coach Larry Brown. Lebo (`89) and Brown (`63) both played collegiately for legendary coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina.
Lebo is 2-0 this season against his fellow UNC lettermen. ECU defeated Appalachian State coached by Jason Capel (`02) and UNC Greensboro coached by Wes Miller (`07).
Four of the eight meetings in the series have been decided by six points or less.
The Pirates will be without senior guard Shamarr Bowden for a second straight game after he injured his left shoulder in practice prior to the Tulsa game.
Last Time We Met
Robert Sampson scored 13 points and Maurice Kemp added 11 for East Carolina in a 62-43 win over SMU inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum last season.
In a contest that was close early and tied at 12-all with 11 minutes until halftime, Darrius Morrow's three-point play started a 10-0 Pirates run. East Carolina led the rest of the way, taking a 31-17 lead at intermission and outscoring the Mustangs 31-26 in the second half.
The Pirates held SMU (10-12, 2-6) scoreless for more than six minutes to take a 22-12 lead capped by a thunderous follow dunk from Kemp, who had scored ECU's first seven points of the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Miguel Paul and Shamarr Bowden pushed the Pirates out to their largest lead of the half, 28-14, with just under three minutes left before intermission.
Corvonn Gaines' buzzer beating 3 gave ECU a 14-point halftime lead, 31-17.
The Pirates connected on 12-of-27 shots in the first half for a 44.4-percent clip and clamped down on the defensive end as they held SMU, who was playing without its leading scorer Robert Nyakundi, to 7-of-18 from the field. The Mustangs made five of their first nine field goals attempts, but made just 2-of-9 the final 13 minutes of the first half.
ECU grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 52-25 after back-to-back 3-pointers from the top of the key by Sampson. Sampson and Bowden each knocked down three 3-pointers for the Pirates, who shot 10 of 28 from the arc (35.7 percent). The Mustangs were 0-of-11 from long range.
The Pirates finished the game 23-for-48 from the field, just under 48-percent. The defense was equally as impressive as it held the Mustangs to just 43 points, the fewest points allowed by the Pirates since 2005. It was the lowest point total given up by ECU since 2005.
Jalen Jones led SMU with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Notes, Streaks And Trends
After being held under 70 points in back-to-back losses to UTEP and Memphis, the Pirates have scored over 70 in five straight games. The Pirates are 3-2 in their last five games.
East Carolina has shot over 50 percent in two of its last four games. The Pirates are 4-0 when shooting over 50 percent from the floor this season.
The Pirates have won 12 of 14 games when leading at halftime this season.
ECU has shot more free throws than its opponent five times in league play, winning all four of those games.
East Carolina has made 10 3-pointers in a game seven times this season and has compiled a 4-3 mark in those games. It has also accumulated a 8-5 record when making seven or more.
After yielding 50 percent shooting against UCF and Houston, the Pirates have held eight of their last nine opponents under the mark.
Senior Maurice Kemp has scored over 20 points in four of the last five games (33 at Rice, 24 at UCF, 23 vs. UAB, 23 at Tulsa). Kemp was held under double figures for just the second time this season last Saturday, scoring just nine points versus Southern Miss.
Junior transfer Ty Armstrong has played over 20 minutes in all 12 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 five straight games (68:31). He is averaging a conference-best 8.3 assists per game in league play with 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Junior Akeem Richmond is 13-of-26 behind the arc the last two games.
The Pirates will return to action Saturday, March 2 against Southern Miss in Hattiesberg, Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.