At the end of the first half East Carolina looked to be down and out, but a stellar second half performance brought the Pirates back into the game. Led by BJ Tyson and Kentrell Barkley, ECU almost completed the rally, but fell short by a score of 77-73.
Freshman Barkley led the Pirates with 22 points and also recorded his first career double-double, recording 10 rebounds. Barkley would not get help scoring till the second half. Tyson scored 17 points on the night and 15 of them came in the second half. Senior Caleb White’s 12 points all came after the first half.
ECU got within two late in the second half, but with the clock inching closer to zero, ECU was forced to foul. College of Charleston guard Canyon Barry went on to make all four of his free throws in the last 14 seconds of the game.
The problem for the Pirates was its inability to contain Charleston’s Barry. Barry scored a game high 27 points with 13 of them coming from the foul line. Barry was average from the field shooting six of 14, but his 13 of 14 free throws made the difference.
As a team the Cougars shot 29 times from the free throw line and made 22 of them. ECU did not have as much success at the charity stripe, making only 10 of its 22 free throw shots. Despite shooting better from the field, ECU’s free throw troubles were too much to overcome.
Starting forwards Micheal Zangari and Clarence Williams struggled to score for the Pirates combing for two points. Zangari did not make any of his four shots and missed both of his free throws and Williams made one of his two shots. Senior Forward Kanu Aja was the only forward to have success for ECU, scoring nine points off the bench. Michel Nzege, who started the first six games at forward, missed his third straight game.