Up 13 with 14:07 in the second half, East Carolina was poised to get in the win column after losing two consecutive games. Malik Morgan then took over for Tulane, sparking a 13-1 run. Three overtimes later the Green Wave finally got past the Pirates, 100-92.
An ugly offensive first half prevented Tulane from getting ahead. The Green Wave converted 10 shots but turned the ball over 12 times. Meanwhile, ECU had an assist on 10 of its 12 made shots. Coming back from the half not much changed.
The momentum shifted halfway through the second half when Morgan made one of his four three pointers that half. Morgan’s 16 points in the second half helped Tulane even things up with the Pirates. Then in the final seconds of the half, Tulane starting guard Louis Dabney sent the game into overtime.
“I think Malik Morgan started with a couple threes and when they saw the shots go down it was just like the confidence level of our team soared. But I don’t think, necessarily, that either team did anything really different. It was just a couple shots went in and we started feeling good,” said Tulane head coach Ed Conroy.
Dabney continued to make last second plays to prolong the game. 15 of his 32 points, which was a game high, came in the overtime periods. Morgan cooled off in overtime but still finished the game with 26 points.
ECU struggled to make shot from beyond the arc, but still shot close to 50 percent from the field. Starting point guard Prince Williams continued his good play, tying BJ Tyson for a team high 25 points. Williams also had nine assists and four rebounds. Kentrell Barkley recorded a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds. These three players accounted for 70 of the Pirates 92 points. ECU’s bench was outscored 19-9 by Tulane, with forward Caleb White scoring only six points off the bench.
“It’s a real problem for us,” said head coach Jeff Lebo. “He’s really struggled, really struggled. He hurt his ankle tonight, but he’s really struggled offensively for us.”
With the bench struggling to produce, Lebo kept in Williams, Barkley and Tyson for 49 minutes. This is coming off the heels of a double overtime game and a tough loss against Connecticut. The team’s fatigue seemed to show in the overtime periods.
“From the ten minute mark on and all the overtimes, I thought we looked tired, defensively in particular. I thought they took advantage of it,” said Lebo.