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Pirates Emerge from Shooting Woes to Dump SLU


GREENVILLE — Kenyatta Brown lofted in a rainbow three and followed it up seconds later with a coffin-nailing jam to help East Carolina protect its come-from-behind lead and gain a 69-63 win over Saint Louis Saturday night.

The late-game heroics were just a sample of the key role Brown played in leading the Pirates to their second Conference USA win and their first ever over the Billikens. The Brooklyn, NY, senior was 8 of 11 from the field, including three of four from three-point range, and tallied 19 points.

Gabriel Mikulas scored 17 and Erroyl Bing added 13 as ECU, which trailed by as many as 10 in the first half and 8 in the second half, kept alive its hopes for earning one of the 12 coveted spots in the C-USA Tournament. The league has 14 members.

The Pirates broke out of what has been a vexing shooting slump to end a string of four straight defeats. ECU (8-13, 2-7 C-USA) trailed 36-30 at halftime, but made 11 of 17 shots in the second half. The Pirates shot 53 percent overall and were 7-for-13 from 3-point range.

The game's momentum shifted when ECU coach Bill Herrion committed his team to a zone defense in the second half. The Billikens were unable to convert consistently on outside opportunities — and when they attacked inside, shots were often batted away or altered by Pirate freshman Moussa Badiane.

"I thought it was a great overall win for our basketball team," said Herrion. "Every night we step on the court we have to play as well as we did tonight to win basketball games in this league."

Saint Louis (9-13, 3-6) made 14 of 27 shots in the first half, but was just 11-for-31 in the second. The Billikens were 5-for-22 from 3-point range, including 2-of-15 in the second half.

"The zone really affected us," said Saint Louis coach Lorenzo Romar. "We didn`t have any answers for it."

Marque Perry, who was sidelined earlier in the season by a concussion, led the Billikens with 14 points. Drew Diener had 12 points for the Billikens and Randy Pulley added 11.

For East Carolina, Mikulas and point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye each had six rebounds. Holcomb-Faye also passed out 6 assists and Mikulas dished out 5.

The Pirates had significant advantage at the stripe, going to the free throw line 25 times and making 18, while Saint Louis had only 11 opportunities, converting 8.

ECU's next game will be Wednesday, February 6 at Marquette, which knocked off No. 4 Cincinnati Saturday in Milwaukee. The Pirates will then make a swing to Chicago to challenge DePaul on February 9 before returning home to host Southern Miss on February 12.

Box Score



Sloan 1-4 1-2 3, Edwin 3-10 0-0 6, Brown 1-5 0-0 2, Fisher 2-3 0-0 5, Perry 6-11 2-2 14, Pulley 4-6 2-2 11, Diener 4-9 2-3 12, Varner 0-2 0-0 0, Braun 4-8 1-2 10. Totals 25-58 8-11 63.


Brown 8-11 0-0 19, Bing 4-6 3-5 13, Mikulas 6-12 5-6 17, Moore 1-2 3-4 6, Holcomb-Faye 0-5 7-10 7, Duckett 0-0 0-0 0, Foxx 1-2 0-0 3, Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0, Badiane 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 22-41 18-25 69.

Halftime: Saint Louis 36, East Carolina 30.

3-Point Goals:
Saint Louis: 5-22 (Diener 2-7, Fisher 1-2, Pulley 1-2, Braun 1-3, Sloan 0-1, Varner 0-1, Perry 0-2, Edwin 0-4); East Carolina: 7-13 (Brown 3-4, Bing 2-3, Moore 1-1, Foxx 1-2, Hawkins 0-1, Holcomb-Faye 0-2).

Rebounds: Saint Louis 30 (Braun, Brown 5); East Carolina 27 (Holcomb-Faye, Mikulas 6).

Assists: Saint Louis 10 (Fisher 4); East Carolina 15 (Holcomb-Faye 6).

Total Fouls: Saint Louis 22, East Carolina 16.

Fouled Out: Perry

Attendance: 5,517.

02/23/2007 10:59:32 AM

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