East Carolina (5-6) suffered another setback Saturday in the form of a 66-54 loss to UNC Wilmington (5-3). Terry Whisnant finished with a team-high 18 points. Paris Roberts-Campbell scored another 11 points in 27 minutes on the court during his season debut.
Whisnant opened the scoring with an early three pointer. Freddie Jackson responded for UNCW with a long-distance basket of his own a minute later. A jumper from Antonio Robinson, a pair of free throws from Whisnant and a B.J. Tyson layup would give ECU a three-point lead with 13:38 to play in the first.
By the midway mark of the first half, UNCW took back the lead with a 10-0 run. Jackson would match Whisnant’s 10 first-half points while the rest of the Seahawks would contribute to carry a 10-point lead into the locker at halftime.
UNCW would maintain that double-digit lead throughout much of the second half. The Pirates did what they could to cut into the deficit. After sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to injuries, Roberts-Campbell single-handedly went on a 5-0 run over the course of 54 seconds to cut UNCW’s lead to eight points.
Roberts-Campbell and Whisnant combined for 16 points in the second half. The Pirates couldn’t muster much scoring elsewhere, though, as the rest of the team scored only 15 points in the final 20 minutes of play.
Poor shooting was the Pirates’ undoing in Wilmington. The team shot 28 percent from the floor and missed 10 of its 22 free-throw attempts. Caleb White, who is normally one of ECU’s more reliable offensive players, made just one of his eight shots.
UNCW, on the other hand, shot 48 percent and made 19 of 28 free throws. Jackson, Craig Ponder and Addison Spruill all finished in double digits and combined for 37 points.
ECU, keeping consistent with the rest of its season, was unable to protect the paint. UNCW scored 30 points in the paint compared to ECU’s 20. However, the rebounding battle was just about even. The Pirates were able to grab 21 offensive rebounds, but only managed to score 13 second-chance points. The Seahawks had 10 offensive boards and had just as many second-chance points. Michael Zangari led ECU with eight of those rebounds—six of which were on offense.
The Pirates will host Florida A&M in Minges Coliseum on Monday at 7 p.m. before breaking for Christmas.