Second-half Surge Steers UConn Past ECU

Led by senior shooting guard Ryan Boatright's 23 points, UConn (12-9, 5-4 AAC) coasted past ECU (9-13, 2-7 AAC) 65-52 Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion.

The East Carolina men’s basketball team appeared poised to compete with the reigning national champions Wednesday night. Despite shooting better than 50 percent from the floor (62 percent from 3-point range) and leading by eight points at halftime, it proved to be merely a facade.

Equipped by a pair of 17-0 runs — one while trailing 34-24 and another after ECU recaptured the lead 44-43 — the Connecticut Huskies outscored the Pirates 38-18 in the second half on their way to a 65-52 victory at Gampel Pavilion.

For the second straight game, guard B.J. Tyson led the Pirates (9-13, 2-7 AAC) with 20 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 on 3-pointers. ECU made 11 3s to shoot 53 percent from beyond the arc, but the American Conference’s leading scorer, senior Ryan Boatright, proved to be too much for ECU — throwing in seven of UConn’s 11 triples for a game-high 23 points.

After UConn (12-9, 5-4 AAC) scored the game’s opening basket, ECU pieced together a slowly developed 13-2 run. This began what turned out to be a true game of runs.

Trailing 13-4, the Huskies responded with an 8-0 spurt that was soon stretched to an 18-7 run to retake the lead 22-20; then ECU scored the game’s next 14 points — capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Terry Whisnant and Paris Roberts-Campbell —before UConn supplied the next 17; then ECU bounced back for 10 straight; and, lastly, the hosting Huskies strung together 17 more consecutive points to put the game effectively away at 60-44.

Three other Huskies scored at least nine points, including freshman Daniel Hamilton, who was a point shy from a double-double with 11 rebounds.

Sophomore Caleb White joined Tyson as the only other Pirate to score into double-figures with 11 points, while senior Roberts-Campbell was 3-for-4 from 3-point range for his nine points.

The Pirates were bullied on the glass by the hosting Huskies —getting out-rebounded 32-21 — and failed to get to the free throw line. ECU attempted just two free throws Wednesday.

On Saturday night the Pirates will return home to Minges Coliseum to host the UCF Knights. Tipoff time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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