Trailing by 12 in the second half, East Carolina looked to be done. A few three-pointers later the Pirates got within four. From there Cincinnati took control and came away with a 65-56 win in Minges Coliseum.
Starting point guard Prince Williams countered the Bearcats quick start in the first half. Cincinnati made its first three three-pointers, but Williams made three of his own. A 16-3 run for the Bearcats gave them and eleven point lead.
Williams finished the game with a team high 18 points, 14 in the first half. The Pirates made eight baskets in the first half, seven from beyond the arc. Tyson only had three points in the first half, but finished the game with 11 points.
The bench did not have an impact for ECU, with only 16 total minutes for the bench. Clarence Williams, Lance Tejada and Michel Nzege combined for three shots, all missed, off the bench.
“Yeah, we could definitely use some breathers there,” said Williams. “We have guys who could come in and make some contributions, but I’m not sure what the coaching is. I have no control over that. The guys are ready. When their number is called, they are ready to make an impact at any time.”
Kentrell Barkley recorded a double-double for the Pirates. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds and was four assists away from a triple-double. He was one of four players to score in double figures for the Pirates.
Cincinnati was led by its starting guard Troy Caupain. Caupain quietly put up 27 points on the Pirates and was 9-14 from the field. Jacob Evans was second on the team in scoring with 18 points. He also had seven rebounds. Octavius Ellis only had 10 points, but was a force inside, bringing in 14 rebounds. Ellis defensively kept the Pirates from scoring inside altering shots and blocking three.
"We had multiple shots around the basket there that we could not finish because they either blocked it or altered a lot of those shots. Both Octavius Ellis, Deberry, and Clark were pretty active at the rim,” said ECU head coach Jeff Lebo.