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Pirates Scrap Past USM to Fuel Tourney Hopes


GREENVILLE  — East Carolina bounded ahead early, fell behind late, then did what it had to do to slip back in front when it counted to seize a vital 61-58 Conference USA victory over visiting Southern Mississippi Tuesday night.

Gabriel Mikulas had 16 points and Bryan Foxx added 11 as the Pirates (9-15, 3-9 C-USA) gained an edge on USM (7-15, 2-10) for one of the 14-team league's 12 conference tournament spots. Erroyl Bing added seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Pirates.

The Pirates scored the game's first 13 points but lost momentum, and eventually, the lead to USM. The Golden Eagle built a 7-point margin with 7:53 left in the game before ECU regained control of the flow and went on a 16-6 run in the closing minutes.

Kenyatta Brown had two key baskets during the Pirates' winning surge, nailing a three-pointer at the 2:07 mark and then driving the baseline with 30 seconds left for a bank-in that turned out to be the winning bucket.

ECU coach Bill Herrion reached the 200-career-victory milestone with the win.

Brad Richardson had 14 points and was the high scorer for Southern Miss. Elvin Mims, who added 12 points and six rebounds, was the only other player in double figures.

The Golden Eagles scored on just two of four trips to the free throw line in the first half, while ECU hit 7 of 8 (87.5 percent).

The Pirates also converted more points than Southern Miss off of turnovers (24-14) and fast breaks (5-2).

In the race for C-USA Tournament slots, ECU's has three league victories while the Golden Eagles and DePaul only have two. Three conference teams, Tulane, UAB and Texas Christian, have each won four C-USA contests.

The Pirates host Birmingham Southern in a non-league clash Saturday night before facing a four-game C-USA gauntlet to close out the regular season. Down the stretch, ECU visits Louisville (02/19/02), hosts Houston (02/23/02) and Marquette (02/26/02), then travels to TCU (02/26/02).

The Conference USA Tournament will be played March 6-9 in Cincinnati.

Box Score



Myles 2-4 0-0 5, Mims 5-10 1-1 12, Lambert 2-5 3-3 7, Richardson 3-4 7-9 14, Stiggers 4-6 0-1 8, Haywood 0-2 0-0 0, Meneses 2-3 0-0 5, Rigsby 0-0 0-0 0, Carter 2-5 2-4 7, Duncan 0-2 0-1 0. Totals 20-41 13-19 58


Brown 3-7 0-0 7, Bing 3-11 1-1 7, Mikulas 5-9 6-7 16, Foxx 4-6 0-0 11, Holcomb-Faye 3-10 2-4 8, Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Boddie 3-3 0-0 8, Badiane 2-4 0-2 4, Moore 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 9-14 61.

Halftime: East Carolina 31-22.

3-Point goals: Southern Miss. 5-12 (Carter 1-1, Myles 1-1, Meneses 1-2, Richardson 1-2, Mims 1-5, Haywood 0-1), East Carolina 6-16 (Boddie 2-2, Brown 1-3, Foxx 3-5, Holcomb-Faye 0-1, Moore 0-1, Bing 0-4).

Assists: Southern Miss. 11 (Stiggers 5), East Carolina 10 (Holcomb-Faye 4).

Fouled out: Lambert, Mims. Rebounds--Southern Miss. 31 (Carter, Mims 6), East Carolina 29 (Bing 11).

Total fouls: Southern Miss. 19, East Carolina 20.

Attendance: 4,847.

 02/23/2007 10:59:34 AM

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. and ECU Media Relations contributed to this report.

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