Pirates Lose Game of Runs

HUNTINGTON W.Va -- Marshall (10-20, 4-11 C-USA) edged East Carolina (16-14, 5-10 C-USA) in the final 10 second of what proved to be a game of runs.

East Carolina (16-14, 5-10 Conference-USA) had its three-game winning streak snapped in a close contest in Huntington W.Va. Marshall (10-20, 4-11 C-USA) defeated the Pirates, 64-61, in the final seconds of Saturday's game.

The Thundering Herd held ECU scoreless for the final 4:32 and scored 10 unanswered points en route to a comeback victory. Ryan Taylor's three-point play in the last 10 seconds proved to be enough to power Marshall past the Pirates.

With this loss, a first-round bye in the conference tournament is no longer on the table.

Caleb White played all 40 minutes and led the team's offensive effort with 23 points. Akeem Richmond and Antonio Robinson also contributed 15 and 10 points, respectively. All of Richmond's points came from long range, where he went 5-for-16.

Prince Williams also had a strong showing. He set new career highs with 10 rebounds and nine assists.

ECU's shooting proved to be too streaky, though. The Pirates didn't get off to a good start in either half. Marshall took a 20-7 lead in the first nine minutes of the game as ECU made only two of its first eight shots. White and company responded by going 12-15 and outscoring the Herd 34-10 to close out the half with a 41-30 lead.

The Pirates finished the first half shooting an astonishing 60.9 percent from the field to Marshall's 34.5 percent. The Thundering Herd turned the tables in the second frame, though. They came out hot with a 16-0 run that spanned just over five minutes. ECU, once again, limped out of the gate—this time going 0-for-7 to open the half.

The Pirates brought themselves within one, 52-51, with 10 minutes to play. Then they went on a 10-2 run to take a 61-54 lead as the clock wound down. White hit a trey to end the run, but it would prove to be ECU's last points of the night. Marshall would end up going on a 10-0 run in the final minutes to claim the victory.

The Thundering Herd starters led the squad's offense. All but 11 of Marshall's 64 points were scored by four players. Chris Thomas led the team with 17 points. Ryan Taylor was right behind him with a double-double consisting of 15 points and 12 rebounds, in addition to five assists. Shawn Smith and Kareem Canty combined for 21 points, eight assists, seven boards and a pair of steals.

A lack of consistency from ECU's top players is what cost the Pirates the game. While Marshall had pretty even contributions from its starters, the Pirates relied heavily on White. Even Richmond didn't quite score at his usual pace.

What really hurt ECU is Paris Roberts-Campbell being a non-factor. He averages 12.2 points a night, but was held of the board by the Thundering Herd. He didn't attempt a single shot and amassed four personal fouls in 14 minutes of action.

The Pirates will be in Norfolk, Va. Thursday for their final game Thursday. They'll take on Old Dominion—a team that handed them a loss in their conference opener.

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