Pirates capture thrilling road win

Despite being out-shot and out-rebounded, ECU escaped the Greensboro Coliseum with an, 85-84, win against UNC-Greensboro.

It wasn't quite as flashy as his game-winning three to clinch East Carolina's first post-season tournament title in April, but Akeem Richmond proved again what he is capable of doing if given a chance at the end of the game against the UNC-Greensboro Spartans Tuesday.

This time around, Richmond was fouled beyond the three-point arc by Nicolas Paulos with 1.2 seconds remaining and the Pirates trailing 84-82. And as he did in Ogden, UT., the senior shooting guard rose to the occasion -- draining all three of his free-throws to recapture the lead.

Following an unanswered half-court prayer by UNC-G, ECU's (2-0) rally was complete. It escaped the Greensboro Coliseum with an 85-84 win.

Despite mustering just three points in the first half, Richmond scored 16 points in the last 20 minutes to give him 19 points for the game. Also, his defensive-play gave ECU a chance to come from behind – he grabbed one of his game-best four steals to set up the last sequence.

UNC-G (1-1) freshman guard Tevon Saddler made one of his few mistakes by committing the fatal turnover. The 6-foot-4 inch, 207-pound Saddler had a game-best 34 points, along with eight rebounds.

The Spartans went 26-for-52 from the field (50 percent) – to ECU's 40 percent (27-for-67) – and owned the painted area, 43-31, but could not close-out the game.

The visiting Pirates were treading water in the first half as the Spartans jumped out to a 10-0 lead. It wasn't until UNC-G was leading 31-16 at the 7:02 mark of the first half that ECU awoke and began to claw its way back.

The Pirates went on a 12-2 run due in large part to the play of guards Paris Roberts-Campbell and Caleb White. 6-foot-7 inch freshman White scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, while the senior, Roberts-Campbell, spread out his 16 points and team-high three assists.

ECU was hanging around going into the locker-room, only trailing UNC-G 40-30.

When the second half began, the same could be said for the groove Richmond went into. He led a game-turning 18-4 run that culminated with him converting on a three-point play that gave ECU its first lead of the game, 53-51, with 12 minutes left.

UNC-G bounced back and appeared it would still hold on – leading 79-73 with less than a minute left in the game – but the Pirates had one last run in them.

ECU closed the game by scoring 12 of the last 17 points and hit 8-of-9 free throws during that stretch. Due to new rule changes in college basketball's officiating, there were 49 fouls on Tuesday.

The Pirates' next game is Thursday night against Chowan. Tip-off time is set for 7 p.m.


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