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ECU SID Game Recap

Schedule, Scores, Attendance



Inside Game Day
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Al Myatt

Memphis too strong for depleted Pirates

By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

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Post-game audio: ECU coach Jeff Lebo...

Post-game audio: Memphis coach Josh Pastner...

Post-game audio: ECU players Ty Armstrong & Miguel Paul...

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GREENVILLE — The energy of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum wasn't enough to lift shorthanded East Carolina past the talent and tradition of Memphis on Wednesday night.

The Tigers put together some incredible numbers in holding off the Pirates 75-68 for their 11th straight win, a pretty incredible number in itself.

Memphis shot 58.3 percent in the second half, including four of seven behind the arc.

It took the Tigers some time to find the range as they made just one of their first 11 field goal attempts.

Those four 3-pointers came within a span of two minutes, 15 seconds in the second half and comprised a 12-2 Memphis run that extended the lead to 49-37 with 12:12 remaining.

"You pick your poison with them," said ECU coach Jeff Lebo. "They crushed us in the paint. They made four (threes) in a row. Some were against our zone. We wanted to play some zone and hoped they'd miss some shots. We were trying to keep our guys out of foul trouble. ... Give them credit. They were big shots and kind of separated the game in the second half."

Story continues below the following picture.

ECU senior forward Maurice Kemp denies Antonio Barton's shot attempt in the first half.
 [W.A. Myatt photo]

Without Robert Sampson, who was out with a bruised knee, Maurice Kemp moved from small forward to the power forward. That left ECU with a smaller lineup and helped the Tigers to a 49-33 rebounding advantage. Memphis also blocked 10 shots.

"I've been around a lot of guys who could jump but, wow!" Lebo said of the Tigers' 6-foot-5 D.J. Stephens, who had four rejections.

On the offensive end, junior guard Joe Jackson had 26 points and six assists, exhibiting an improved focus after a halftime critique from Tigers coach Josh Pastner about picking up loose balls.

ECU (12-8, 3-4 Conference USA) also was without Shamarr Bowden, who had to sit out one game for throwing punches at Texas-El Paso's Konner Tucker on Saturday night. That meant more minutes for Corvonn Gaines, who started, and Prince Williams, who managed four points in seven minutes.

Williams had 3-point play with 16 seconds left to complete an 8-0 ECU run. That drew the Pirates within 71-68 and the crowd of 6,246 had hope for an incredible comeback.

The Tigers (17-3, 6-0) kept their poise and closed out the win from the free throw line.

Ty Armstrong had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Pirates in both categories. He played 28 minutes as Lebo took him out after his second and third fouls.

Armstrong appeared surprised to get a dish from Miguel Paul in the first half but he adjusted for a dunk.

"If you're open, he'll find you," Armstrong said.

Paul had 15 points and six assists in a busy 34 minutes. He had to ask to come out late in the first half because of the tiring effect of Memphis's defensive pressure. Kemp played all 40 minutes in his new/old position and contributed 13 points with seven rebounds.

Akeem Richmond's 12 points came on four of 12 shooting from long distance.

ECU partially offset the Tigers' skills in other areas with 10 steals. Memphis had 19 turnovers compared to 10 for ECU.

Pastner's purple tie

Pastner said he gets a good clothing allowance, but the Memphis coach doesn't consider himself an especially sharp dresser.

He wore a purple tie with a light blue shirt and a dark suit for the ECU game.

Much of the building wore gold for an ECU "gold out."

"It's just one of those ties," he said. "A random thing. ... My wife complains about (my dressing). She calls me Ned Flanders (bland character on the Simpsons cartoon). But, you know what, she's married to me and I've got three kids so she likes me for something. It's not my dress."

More wardrobe notes

Three ECU players had to take off their gold T-shirts from underneath their jerseys with ECU leading 10-4 less than seven minutes into the game. Bobby Pennington, the officials observer, said that the undergarments had a manufacturer's logo, which is an NCAA no-no.

Pennington, who works with BSM Sports, said he actually sold the T-shirts to the Pirates.

"They're Badgers," he said. "It's hard to find that gold in a T-shirt."

Richmond got around the rule by turning his T-shirt inside out and concealing the logo in the second half.

Rice on the road

Lebo was not sure of Sampson's status for Saturday (8 p.m.) at Rice. The ECU coach said the 6-foot-8 junior would be evaluated today. If he's not able to practice, he's unlikely to play, Lebo said.

The Owls (5-15, 1-5) will come into the contest with some momentum after overcoming a 15-point deficit to defeat Houston 79-69 Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.

The Pirates have been without small forward Erin Straughn and his defensive skills all season.

Paul said ECU could take a page from the Memphis book about succeeding on the road.

"You've got to be strong on defense and also stop the home team from getting runs," said the ECU point guard. "They did a good job of that, of really controlling the tempo. They like to run, too, but they just stopped us from doing what we had to do at times.

" ... If we continue to work on defense, our offense will be there. We'll be good."

Memphis 75, East Carolina 68

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013
Facility: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
Attendance: 6,246
Records: ECU 12-8, 3-4 C-USA; UM 17-3, 6-0


Memphis 28 47 75
East Carolina 27 41 68

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02/01/2013 06:30:42 AM


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