ECU basketball recap:
Golden Eagles survive Pirates' late rally and prevail, 83-72
Sai'Quon Stone, Craig Craft help USM hold off Pirates
CUSA Fans ECU Correspondent Thomas "Bubba" Rosenbaum brings you a recap of the basketball game between East Carolina and Southern Miss.
HATTIESBURG, MS –
Give undermanned East Carolina credit for turning what seemed would be a blowout into a competitive game; however, their valiant comeback effort fell just short and Larry Eustachy and Southern Miss improved to 13-5 overall (3-2 in CUSA) before a crowd of 3,383 on Wednesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles placed four players in double figures. Freshman guard Sai’Quon Stone and sophomore Craig Craft led Southern Miss with 19 points each. Stone scored all but two of his points from the charity stripe, draining 17-of-20 free throws in the game. Craft connected on 7-of-11 shots from the floor, which included a 3-of-5 effort from long range. Jeremy Wise and Courtney Beasley finished with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Darrell Jenkins paced East Carolina with 25 points, which included a 5-of-9 performance from behind the arc. He also dished out five assists. Courtney Captain also shot the ball well from deep, hitting six treys (out of eleven attempts) and totaling 20 points. Cory Farmer also reached double figures for ECU, as he finished with 10 points while also posting four assists.
The Pirates (5-13, 0-5) led by as many as 7 in the first half after taking a 15-8 lead at the 10:14 mark following back-to-back baskets by freshman center John Fields.
Courtney Beasley, who scored 10 of Southern Miss’ first 14 points, produced six quick points over the next couple minutes and trimmed the lead to 15-14 with 8:29 left before halftime.
Following a Courtney Captain three-pointer, ECU led 25-23 with just under three minutes left in the half. USM then went on a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the half at 30-25 with only 29 seconds remaining. However, the Pirates’ point guard Darrell Jenkins connected on a three-pointer as the first half clock expired to pull his team within two at the break.
Southern Miss opened the second half with an 8-3 run and built their lead to seven at 38-31 on Gjio Bain’s dunk with 15:12 left in the game.
Cory Farmer’s three-pointer trimmed the lead to 38-35 with 14:10 remaining, but the Pirates went cold and the Golden Eagles proceeded to widen the gap. They went on an 18-3 run over the next 4:45 to build the lead to a game-high 18 points at 56-38 with 9:25 left.
First, Craig Craft and Jeremy Wise drilled consecutive three-pointers. Next, Wise produced a three-pointer the old-fashioned way before Jarvis Hill followed with a flurry of his own.
With 7:23 to play, the lead remained at 18 when an Andre Stephens’ dunk made it 60-42.
John Fields’ dunk cut the ECU deficit to 13 at 62-49 with 5:46 to go, but USM’s Sai’Quon Stone used two free throws to stretch it back out to 16 at the 4:46 mark.
Ricky Stokes’ Pirates did not wave the white flag, though. Over the last four minutes, an offensively challenged team scored 21 points on the strength of an incredible six trifectas— including three by Darrell Jenkins and two by Courtney Captain—in only 2:12 of clock. Jenkins’ final three in that frenzy put ECU down only six at 75-69 with just less than two minutes to play.
Jenkins’ scored his 12 th point in just less than two and a half minutes when he made good on a free throw with 1:09 to play, capping a three-point play that cut the lead to six for the final time at 78-72.
Southern Miss used five free throws by Sai’Quon Stone and a three by Craig Craft in the waning minutes to hold off stubborn East Carolina.
Next up for Eustachy’s club is a trip to nationally ranked Memphis. The Golden Eagles and Tigers will tip at noon on Saturday inside the FedExForum.
The Pirates will welcome UAB and first-year head coach Mike Davis to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Davis’ Blazers will arrive with an overall record of 10-9 and a 2-3 mark in CUSA. This will be their first contest since their 57-55 home loss to USM on Saturday night. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (EST) tip.
*There will be previews of this game released on Thursday and/or Friday.
Other ECU basketball Notes:
- East Carolina junior guard Jeremy Ingram saw only five minutes of action in the Pirates’ loss at Southern Miss. Ingram, who has undergone four knee surgeries, has only been able to practice sparingly as of late due to the stress placed on his knees. His absence has certainly been very detrimental to a team that was already reeling and also recently suffered the loss of sophomore guard Sam Hinnant for the season.