Pirates fall in regular season finale

Houston closed out Hofheinz Pavilion with a 73-51 victory over East Carolina on Sunday. The Cougars (21-9, 12-6 American) out-scored the Pirates 27-9 over an 11-minute stretch in the second half to pull away after ECU (14-17, 6-12) trailed by just one at halftime. The Cougars found the hot hand and turned up their defensive effort in the second half as they connected on 43 percent of their attempts and forced 12 turnovers, while holding the Pirates to 22 percent shooting.

TURNING POINT
An alley-oop dunk by Bertrand Nkali started an 8-0 run that gave the Cougars a 48-37 lead with 11:55 to play. Rob Gray then scored four straight points before Danrad Knowles capped the spurt with an 18-foot jumper. The Pirates got within eight at 48-40 only to see Houston score seven straight.

ECU PLAYER-OF-THE-GAME
Jeremy Sheppard was the only Pirate to score double figures, dropping in 12 points … He also dished out three assists to set the ECU freshman record for most assists in a season (98), surpassing the record of 97 set by Japhet McNeil during the 2003-04 campaign.

HOUSTON PLAYER-OF-THE-GAME
Gray scored 24 points off the bench on 9-of-19 shooting, including 6-of-12 in the second half. He also handed out a team-high four assists in 33 minutes of action.

GAME NOTES
ECU finished its third season in The American with a conference record of 6-12 in ninth-place … Andre Washington blocked three shots to set the ECU single-season record for blocked shots with 92, surpassing the mark of 90 set by Moussa Badiane during the 2003-04 season … Washington became the sixth player in the brief history of The American to block 90 shots in a season … Caleb White made his 250th career 3-pointer … Kentrell Barkley has his career-long double figures scoring streak snapped at 11 games, finishing with eight points … Houston out-rebounded East Carolina by 19, scoring 22 points off 19 offensive rebounds … The Cougars forced the Pirates into 12 second half turnovers after ECU only committed four in the first half and scored a total of 21 points off 16 turnovers.

NEXT GAME
East Carolina will face Temple Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the First Round of the 2017 American Basketball Championship at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s