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ECU SID Game Recap

Schedule, Scores, Attendance



Inside Game Day
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

By Al Myatt

Kemp holds the fort until help arrives


By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

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Post-game audio: Coaches Jeff Lebo & James Dickey...

Post-game audio: Players Maurice Kemp & Akeem Richmond...

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GREENVILLE — Even though East Carolina had trailed for most of the game and Houston led by nine points with just over eight minutes left on Wednesday night in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, there was a sense that the Pirates would make a run.

It didn't take a fortune teller to figure that out. ECU had trailed Central Florida by 17 points with under 12 minutes left on Saturday before coming back for an 88-85 win in overtime on Corvonn Gaines' 3-point buzzer beater.

Story continues below the following picture.

Akeem Richmond draws a foul driving to the basket. The junior
guard scored 14 points, all in the second half. [W.A. Myatt photo]

Rallies are the Pirates' method of operation at the moment. Some 3-pointers to ignite the fans and ECU is good to go.

"We talked about staying poised and not panicking, just executing the game plan," said Maurice Kemp, who had a career high 30 points along with nine rebounds.

Practice is starting to produce results for the slender transfer from Miami Dade.

"I felt pretty good," said Kemp, a 6-foot-8 senior. "I got a lot of shots up over the whole (holiday) break. I feel like it's starting to pay off. The Christmas break is when you get the most work in, really."

With 15:46 left to play, Kemp was 9-for-15 from the floor and the rest of his teammates were a combined 6-for-28.

"I just wanted to help the team out any way I could," Kemp said. "Whether it's defense, rebounding, whatever my teammates need from me. Tonight it happened to be scoring."

Kemp finished 13 of 20 from the field.

The Pirates were 0-for-13 behind the arc before Paris Roberts-Campbell finally connected with 13 minutes to go. ECU's dominance didn't develop immediately as the Cougars maintained sufficient poise to lead 69-60 with 8:18 to play on a 3-pointer by Danuel House, who paced Houston with 22 points.

Miguel Paul, who had struggled mightily to find his shooting range, was successful from 3-point land with 8:02 to go and the crowd of 5,087 begin to turn up the volume.

Two free throws by House with 7:24 left gave the Cougars a 71-65 lead.

Akeem Richmond, who Kemp calls "the microwave," hit a three off an assist from Paul, and that sparked a decisive 24-7 run over the rest of the game.

Another three from Richmond, who had all 14 of his points in seven second half minutes, put ECU ahead to stay at 79-76 with 3:44 to go. The Pirates closed the game by outscoring Houston (12-4, 1-2 Conference USA) by a 13-2 margin.

"I just came in and shot the ball with a lot of confidence," said Richmond, a Rhode Island transfer. "I got a ton of shots up before the game. I think that helped out a lot. We did an excellent job of sharing the basketball."

Paul had 16 points but was just 4-for-17 from the field. He made 6-of-7 at the free throw line and also had eight assists while making just two of ECU's five turnovers.

Ty Armstrong had nine points and 12 rebounds. Sampson finished with eight points, blocked two shots and contributed three of the Pirates' 11 steals.

Roberts-Campbell had six points, Shamarr Bowden had four points and freshman Marshall Guilmette added two points.

Cougars coach James Dickey had watched tape of the UCF game and although his team played with surgical precision most of the way, he knew the Pirates could transform into supermen at the drop of a three.

"(East Carolina) had 38 points where we assisted," Dickey said. "They had 19 off turnovers and 19 off offensive rebounds. They're too good to help."

ECU coach Jeff Lebo would probably prefer more consistent play for 40 minutes but the former North Carolina sharpshooter knows winning is the bottom line. His club is 11-5 overall and 2-1 in league play with a game at Marshall at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"It was another exciting game here," Lebo said. "Kind of more of the same stuff — get down and struggle offensively shooting the ball. ... Luckily our offense showed up in the second half in a lot of different areas. Kemp was big, obviously. ... Akeem got going."

A faster start might not be as exciting but at least ECU is thinking in those terms.

"We were actually joking about it in the locker room," Kemp said. "Imagine if we could get two halves like the second. That's our goal. If we could play the first half like we do the second half we could be really special."

East Carolina 89, Houston 78

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
Facility: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
Attendance: 5,087
Records: ECU 11-5, 2-1 C-USA; UH 12-4, 1-2


Houston 36 42 78
East Carolina 30 59 89

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01/17/2013 02:22:34 AM


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