The scene looked awfully familiar for head coach Jeff Lebo and company. In the 2012 season, the Pirates lost their first six conference games before finally claiming a victory over the Blazers. That game was a 73-66 decision.
Paris Roberts-Campbell led the effort for ECU this time. He finished the game with 21 points and eight boards—leading the team in each department. Caleb White had also had an impressive 17-point night.
Akeem Richmond finished the contest with 13 points. He scored his 100th three of the season, making him both the first player in the NCAA to reach that feat this season and only the third player in conference history to do so in consecutive seasons.
UAB effectively attacked ECU's rim. The Blazers had 40 points in the paint, but their overall shooting wasn't up to par. They shot 41 percent from the field, which is only slightly beneath their average, but they went 5-25 from the arc.
The Pirates used their three-point shooting prowess to keep up with UAB's penetrating offense. They went 9-22 from three-point range with Richmond, White and Roberts-Campbell each hitting three apiece.
They didn't rely on just shooting from the perimeter, though. ECU managed to get down low pretty well for such an undersized squad. The Pirates finished off with 28 points in the paint of their own.
Furthermore, ECU drew a little bit of luck in the rebounding battle. UAB came in averaging 47 boards a game with a conference-best rebounding margin of +11.1. ECU did lost the rebounding battle, but only 42-36.
ECU jumped ahead in the first 10 minutes of the first half. UAB then took the lead on a 12-0 run generated by Chad Frazier and C.J. Washington. Washington led the Blazers with 25 points and Frazier chipped in with another 13 points.
The Pirates responded with an 18-3 run to end the first half with a 33-27 lead. Roberts-Campbell drove the effort with a pair of treys to start it off. Prince Williams also contributed six points to the run, including a dunk not too long after ECU took the lead.
UAB never took the lead back. ECU stayed hot throughout halftime. White, Richmond and Roberts-Campbell combined for four threes in the first three minutes of the second half.
Not for a lack of effort, though. The Blazers made a run for it in the last six minutes of the contest. Washington had nine points down the stretch—one of which was a trey to bring them within a point of the Pirates.