East Carolina comeback falls short in 76-64 loss to Charlotte
Paul scores 22 for Pirates
The 49ers built a 19-point second half lead and held off a furious late rally by the Pirates to take a 76-64 road victory on Saturday night at Williams Arena-Minges Coliseum.
East Carolina (4-3), which shot just 31.9 percent for the game, struggled from the tip. The Pirates managed just three field goals in the game’s first ten-plus minutes and trailed 17-7 with 9:39 left before the break.
However, Jeff Lebo’s club closed the half on an 18-9 spurt to get within 26-25 at halftime.
After shooting below 40 percent in the opening 20 minutes, Charlotte (4-2) was a sizzling 16-of-29 (55.2%) in the second half. Jamar Briscoe, who scored 18 of his 19 points after the break, helped the Niners build a 66-47 advantage with just over five minutes to play.
Facing a seemingly insurmountable advantage, ECU exploded for 14 points over the next 1:23 to pull within six at 67-61 with plenty of time left.
From that point, the Pirates missed on some opportunities to complete the improbable comeback. They were able to force multiple turnovers with their press and Charlotte took some quick shots, but ECU was unable to capitalize.
Briscoe and Braswell proceeded to seal the deal from the charity stripe for the 49ers.
Paul, who went 4-of-19 at ODU the last time out, led the Pirates with 22. However, he continued to struggle shooting, as he was just 5-of-19 from the floor. He did finish 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Shamarr Bowden scored in double figures for the second straight game after finishing with 13 points in 14 minutes. Erin Straughn was a rebound away from a double-double, as he totaled 11 points and nine boards.
The Pirates had no post presence in the contest, as Darrius Morrow was held scoreless and turned it over five times. Rob Sampson, who is battling a thumb injury, had 11 rebounds, but just one basket.
Chris Braswell and Javarris Barnett joined Briscoe in double figures for Charlotte. The duo scored 13 each and Braswell was a rebound shy of a double-double.
ECU will return to action on Tuesday night when it hosts another Atlantic 10 foe, as the UMASS Minutemen will visit Williams Arena-Minges Coliseum for a 7 p.m. contest.