Three-Point Barrage Lifts ECU Pirates Past Houston

From wire and staff reports

GREENVILLE, NCMaurice Kemp scored a career-high 30 points and Akeem Richmond added 14, all in the second half, as East Carolina rallied to defeat Houston 89-78 Wednesday night.

East Carolina Pirates Men's Basketball

Miguel Paul added 16 points and eight assists for East Carolina, and Ty Armstrong had 12 rebounds.

The Pirates (11-5, 2-1 Conference USA) trailed 69-60 with 8:18 remaining but outscored Houston 29-9 down the stretch. Richmond scored 11 of his points in that span, including three of his four 3-pointers.

Danuel House led the Cougars (12-4, 1-2) with 22 points, TaShawn Thomas had 18, Joseph Young 15 and Leon Gibson 14.

East Carolina missed its first 13 3-point attempts until Paris Roberts-Campbell sank one in front of the Pirate bench seven minutes into the second half. The Pirates made 8 of 11 3-point attempts in the final 13 minutes.

ECU was down 10, 52-42, when Roberts-Campbell buried his lone 3 of the game. Miguel Paul followed with his first of two second half 3s a mere 23 seconds later to send the crowd of 5,087 into a frenzy.

Richmond’s first 3 came with 10:12 to play and cut Houston’s lead in half, 61-56. However, the Cougars quickly pushed their lead back to nine, 69-60, on a pair of baskets by House and a jumper from Young.

After Paul buried another 3, Richmond scored five straight points before Kemp’s tip-in brought the Pirates within one, 71-70.

Richmond then drained his third 3-pointer to give ECU its first lead, 73-70, since the 9:00 mark of the first half.

Houston retook the lead on pair of foul shots by House and then tied the game at 76 on two Young free throws with 4:10 to play. The Pirates ended the game on a 13-2 run, holding the Cougars to 1 for 4 from the field and forcing two turnovers.

It was Richmond who put the Pirates ahead to stay, 79-76, with another 3-pointer.

It was the second consecutive come-from-behind victory for East Carolina, which defeated Central Florida 88-85 Saturday after trailing by 17 in the second half.

The Pirates committed just five turnovers in the game and shot 54.3 percent (19 of 35) in the second half after hitting 32.4 percent (12 of 37) in the first.

The first half featured seven ties and seven leads changes, the final of which came with 6:52 before halftime. Houston out-scored ECU 14-8 to end the half and led 36-30 at intermission.