Tigers Drop C-USA Road Finale to Pirates, 68-57
March 2, 2011
By: Preston McClellan
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina used a decisive 19-5 second-half run to pull away and defeat Memphis 68-57 Wednesday night at Minges Coliseum.
Antonio Barton connected on a runner at the end of the first half to tie the game at 28, but the second half would be a different story. DJ Stephens gave the Tigers' their final lead of the game on a steal and breakaway jam at the 11:28 mark before ECU would begin to pull away.
The Pirates found their range and connected on back-to-back-to-back triples to take a 60-47 advantage with 3:31 remaining. Memphis cut the lead to single digits (62-54) on a pair of free throws from Crawford at the 1:15 mark, but ECU responded with four free throws of its own to put the game out of reach.
Jontae Sherrod finished with a game-high 28 points to lead the Pirates, making 6-of-13 shots from the field and 14-of-20 from the free throw line. Darrius Morrow and Jamar Abrams each scored 11 points as ECU defeated Memphis for the first time in program history.
Antonio Barton was the only Memphis player to finish in double figures, scoring 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting in a career-high 35 minutes. Tarik Black, who faced double and triple teams throughout the night, finished with nine points and six rebounds.
Will Barton and Will Coleman each finished with eight points, while DJ Stephens contributed six points, four rebounds and two blocks. Chris Crawford scored four points and grabbed six boards in addition to recording five assists.
The Tigers exploited their size advantage, outscoring the Pirates in the paint 36-18. Turnovers again got the best of Memphis, however, as ECU forced Memphis into 15 miscues and scored 19 points off turnovers.
The Tigers have lost three consecutive road games and are now 9-6 in league play heading into Saturday's regular season finale against Tulane. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. at FedExForum.