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East Carolina overwhelms Highland Cavs

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East Carolina cashed in on 32-of-39 opportunities at the charity stripe, including 15-of-17 from junior guard Miguel Paul, to keep a dogged North Carolina Central team at bay and claim an 84-76 victory Thursday night in Greenville.

Paul added four field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, to tally 25 points and help the Pirates (8-4) withstand a 24-10 NCCU surge in the second half and hang on for their fourth consecutive win.

After a tug-of-war featuring eight ties and eight lead changes in the first half, East Carolina seemed poised to put the game away in the early stages of the final frame, outscoring the Eagles 22-7 to expand a 39-35 halftime margin to 61-42 with 13:20 remaining.

That's when NCCU (7-7) embarked on a 26-12 run over the next 10 minutes to pull within 5 at 73-68 with 3:12 left.

Junior guard Shamarr Bowden drained a trey at the 2:14 mark to boost the lead to 8 and dampen the Eagles' upset bid.

NCCU didn't get closer than 6 the rest of the way as the Pirates converted 8-of-10 chances at the free throw line, including 5-of-6 by Paul.

Four of Paul's teammates joined him in double figures. Bowden scored 15 points, junior forward Maurice Kemp had 14, senior forward Darrius Morrow added 11 and freshman guard Paris Roberts-Campbell contributed 10.

Bowden also hauled in 14 rebounds to help East Carolina win the battle of the boards 43-29.

Junior guard Ebuka Anyaorah paced the Eagles with 25 points, while senior forwards Dominique Sutton and Nick Chasten scored 13 apiece.

The Eagles were plagued by foul troubles in the closing minutes as Sutton, sophomore guard Jeremy Ingram and junior guard Ray Willis fouled out.

The Pirates will try to extend their winning streak to five on Saturday when they host NAIA school Virginia-Wise at 1 p.m. The contest against the 3-6 Highland Cavaliers will wrap up the non-conference slate for ECU, which hits the road for a Conference USA game on Wednesday against Southern Miss.

BOX SCORE

EAST CAROLINA 91, VIRGINIA-WISE 56

Date: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011
Place: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, Greenville, NC
Attendance: 4,362

Records: ECU 9-4; UVa-Wise  3-7

SCORE BY PERIODS     1   2  FINAL
Virginia-Wise       21  35  -  56
East Carolina       45  46  -  91

VIRGINIA-WISE HIGHLAND CAVALIERS
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................    ..   ...    ..  . ... ...
04 Gaskins, Norris..... f   0-2   0-0   2-2  3   2  26
33 Jordan, Josh........ f  4-10   0-0   3-6  8  11   0
01 Berry, Travis....... g  4-20   2-9   3-4  2  13   2
23 Smith, Darius....... g  7-17   1-4   2-4  4  17   4
24 Wright, Jermaine.... g  1-10   0-1   2-2  4   4   1
12 Garrison, Tyler.......   0-1   0-1   0-0  0   0   0
13 Draper, Chris.........   0-0   0-0   0-0  0   0   0
14 Turner, James.........   1-2   0-0   1-2  3   3   0
15 Watson, Teron.........   0-1   0-1   0-0  0   0   0
20 Maggard, Tyler........   2-3   2-3   0-0  1   6   0
25 Luce-Edwards, Dart....   0-0   0-0   0-0  0   0   0
TEAM.....................                    2
TOTALS................... 19-66  5-19 13-20 27  56 200
PERCENT..................  28.8  26.3  65.0

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................    ..   ...    ..  . ... ...
01 Morrow, Darrius..... f   6-9   0-0   3-6  8  15  21
02 Kemp, Maurice....... f 10-12   0-0   5-7 14  25  24
00 Paul, Miguel........ g   3-9   1-5   0-0  2   7  16
20 Bowden, Shamarr..... g   0-2   0-1   0-0  0   0  15
23 Straughn, Erin...... g   4-7   1-4   0-0  3   9  23
03 Torlak, Petar.........   3-6   0-3   0-1  8   6  24
10 Edosomwan, Francis....   0-1   0-0   0-0  0   0   3
11 Gaines, Corvonn.......   3-4   0-0   0-0  7   6  17
22 Campbell, Paris.......   6-9   3-5   2-4  1  17  22
25 Steed, Austin.........   1-1   0-0   0-0  5   2  14
35 Morales, Darius.......   2-5   0-0   0-2  5   4  21
TEAM.....................                    2
TOTALS................... 38-65  5-18 10-20 55  91 200
PERCENT..................  58.5  27.8  50.0

Fouled out: Josh Jordan
Technical Fouls: Darius Smith
Officials: Rick Crawford, Marc Ellard, Charles Robinson

PAGE UPDATED 01/03/12 02:39 AM.

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