East Carolina wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 71-50 win over UNC Greensboro. ECU shot 57 percent and was led by the duo of Terry Whisnant and Caleb White, who combined for 31 points. Michel Nzege added another 12 points and pulled in five rebounds.
The Pirates (7-6) stormed out and never looked back. They scored the game’s first seven points in just over two minutes of play. UNCG, on the back Diante Baldwin and his 19 points, would attempt to cut into ECU’s lead. Baldwin was the only player to finish in double digits for his side, despite the fact that four UNCG players had been averaging over 10 points a game going into Sunday’s contest.
Stellar first-half shooting yielded a 45-26 lead heading into halftime. Whisnant scored 14 of his 17 points in the first 20 minutes and the team shot 72.7 percent from the field. Over the last 4:40 of the half, ECU went on a 13-3 lead to secure the 19-point halftime lead.
That double-digit lead would stick for the remaining 20 minutes. The Pirates started the second half off with a 12-4 run over the first 6:50 of the half. UNCG would go on a few small runs of its own, but wouldn’t come within more than 15 points of ECU.
ECU ensured the victory in the last 5:23 with eight points made up of a trey from White sandwiched between five free throws.
The Pirates kept consistent with the rest of the season as far as their play down low is concerned. They marginally outscored UNCG in the paint, 30-28, but lost the battle of the boards. UNCG grabbed 33 rebounds to ECU’s 30. While the difference isn’t huge, 14 of UNCG’s boards were offensive. ECU only had two offensive rebounds.
ECU showed improvement in its ball distribution. The team averaged 12.3 assists per game and finished with 20 on Sunday. In addition to his 17 points, Whisnant dished out six assists. Antonio Robinson added another five and Paris Roberts-Campbell had four.
The Pirates will return to Minges Coliseum Wednesday at noon. They will play their inaugural game in American Athletic Conference play against Tulane.