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Morrow powers Pirates to league win

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Senior forward Darrius Morrow scored 24 points and set the tone for an impressive shooting exhibition by his team as East Carolina snapped a six-game skid and captured a 73-66 Conference USA road win over Alabama-Birmingham Saturday night.

Morrow made 11-of-15 field goal attempts (73.3 percent) to pace an ECU shooting effort of 25-of-42 (59.5 percent), including 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from 3-point range.

Three of Morrow's teammates joined him in double figures. Junior guard Miguel Paul scored 14 points, junior guard Erin Straughn had 13 and junior forward Maurice Kemp added 12.

The Pirates built a lead of as much as 17 on a Morrow jumper with less than 10 minutes to go. But East Carolina ultimately had to produce at the free throw line after the Blazers mounted a surge, whittling the margin to 67-64 on a layup by sophomore guard Preston Purifoy with 28 seconds left.

The Pirates (10-10, 1-6 C-USA) responded by nailing six straight free throws four by Paul and two by sophomore forward Robert Sampson to hold off the challenge and claim their first league win of the season.

For the game, East Carolina connected on 16-of-21 free throws (76.2 percent).

UAB (7-13, 2-5) also shot well, hitting 27-of-54 from the floor (50 percent), but had only three opportunities from the charity stripe, connecting on all three.

Purifoy scored 17 points, senior forward Cameron Moore had 14 points and 13 rebounds, junior guard Jekore Tyler added 11 points and sophomore guard Quincy Taylor contributed 10 for the Blazers.

The Pirates led at the half 36-26.

Morrow fouled out with 2:40 remaining but Paul stepped up to fill the vacuum, producing six points in the final 1:24.

East Carolina will have a chance to get a winning streak going when it hosts Southern Methodist Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Mustangs (10-11, 2-5) are coming off a 66-60 Saturday night home loss to Tulsa.

BOX SCORE

EAST CAROLINA 73, UAB 66

Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012
Place: Bartow Arena, Birmingham, AL
Attendance: 4,023
Records: ECU 10-10 (1-6 Conference USA); UAB 7-13 (2-5)

SCORE BY PERIODS     1   2  FINAL
East Carolina       36  37  -  73
Alabama-Birmingham  26  40  -  66

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................    ..   ...    ..  . ... ...
01 Morrow, Darrius..... f 11-15   0-0   2-3  6  24  37
02 Kemp, Maurice....... f   4-7   1-1   3-4  2  12  25
12 Sampson, Robert..... f   0-2   0-0   2-4  4   2  25
00 Paul, Miguel........ g   2-4   2-3   8-8  1  14  33
20 Bowden, Shamarr..... g   2-2   2-2   0-0  0   6  13
11 Gaines, Corvonn.......   0-0   0-0   0-0  1   0  10
22 CAMPBELL, Paris.......   1-3   0-1   0-0  0   2  26
23 Straughn, Erin........   5-9   2-5   1-2  7  13  31
TEAM.....................                    2
TOTALS................... 25-42  7-12 16-21 23  73 200
PERCENT..................  59.5  58.3  76.2

ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM BLAZERS
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................    ..   ...    ..  . ... ...
00 Soko, Ovie.......... f   3-7   0-0   0-0  1   6  23
22 Moore, Cameron...... f  6-10   0-0   2-2 13  14  36
05 Williams, Robert.... g   1-2   0-0   1-1  1   3  31
24 Purifoy, Preston.... g  6-12   5-9   0-0  3  17  33
25 Taylor, Quincy...... g   4-8   2-4   0-0  0  10  29
10 Tyler, Jekore.........  5-10   1-1   0-0  3  11  29
11 Harrison, Herb........   0-0   0-0   0-0  0   0   3
12 Whitaker, K.C.........   1-4   1-4   0-0  2   3  12
33 Scotland-Williamson...   1-1   0-0   0-0  1   2   4
TEAM.....................
Totals................... 27-54  9-18   3-3 24  66 200
PERCENT..................  50.0  50.0 100.0

Fouled out: Darrius Morrow, Cameron Moore
Technical Fouls: None
Officials: Doug Sirmons, Steve Pyatt, Mark Schnur

PAGE UPDATED 01/29/12 06:08 AM.

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