Kevin Devine

ECU holds off a late Tulane comeback to secure home conference win

Greenville, N.C. -- The ECU men's basketball team got back into win column Saturday afternoon with a 74-65 victory against the Tulane. Leading the way for the Pirates, was Caleb White with 20 points.

The ECU men's basketball team has struggled at times this year, especially within the conference. However, Saturday's performance highlighted areas of ECU's game where when they excel, they can really put the pressure on the opposition.

ECU came out of the gates very hot and seemed to be in the driver's seat for most of the afternoon. At the half, the Pirates held an 11-point lead. Heading into today's game, ECU was 11-4 this season when leading at half, so the confidence in winning was there. 

On the day, ECU shot 46 percent from the field, and 57 percent from three. Freshman guard, Jeremy Sheppard, shot 5-7 from beyond the arc, and junior guard, Kentrell Barkley, went 3-4 from downtown on the heels of his double-double performance, complete with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

It was important that Sheppard was able to shoot the ball well because it opened things up for Barkley to make his presence felt. Whether it was a three of his own, or a strong drive to the basket, Barkley was playing with a sense of hesitation today for sure. 

Caleb White also got his confidence back, and was able to find his groove shooting after being in about a month long slump. White put up an impressive 20 points with four rebounds and three assists. 

ECU dominated the start of the second half. At one point, the PIrates owned a commanding 15 point lead with around 16 minutes to go in the contest. Things did get a little hairy for the PIrates when Tulane cut the lead to a mere two points, however, ECU found their composure and held off a determined Green Wave.

All in all, the Pirates played a solid game. Despite losing the turnover battle, ECU was still shooting lights out.They were also able to win the rebounding battle, which may have played a bigger factor in ECU's victory than some realize. 

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