Tuesday, December 7, 2021

East Carolina improves to 2-1 on the road in CUSA

What a difference a year makes.

Last season, East Carolina was humiliated 100-49 at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington.

However, the Pirates have made a lot of progress since then and they took another step in demonstrating that on Saturday night.

ECU (11-8, 3-2) rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to capture an 82-81 road win when Darrius Morrow converted a free throw to complete a three-point play with just five seconds remaining.

The Thundering Herd (13-6, 1-3) held a 50-38 halftime advantage after shooting lights out in the first 20 minutes. Marshall shot a sizzling 63 percent (19-of-30) from the floor and was even better from the beyond the arc where they were 67 percent (8-of-12).

The Pirates opened the second half with a 15-4 run to pull within one at 54-53 with 13:11 to play.

However, Marshall pushed its lead back to double figures when Tirrell Baines’ dunk made it 65-54 with just under ten minutes to go.

ECU still trailed by seven with 1:45 left, but they trimmed that to two with 1:19 to play following a Morrow dunk and Abrams’ three.

The Herd had a chance to make it a two possession game with 25 seconds left, but DeAndre Kane missed both free throws.

With nine seconds left, Jontae Sherrod’s three-pointer was off the mark. However, Morrow grabbed his eighth rebound of the game and put it in while getting fouled by Damier Pitts. Morrow, who finished with a career-high 33 points, stepped up and converted the game-winning free throw despite being just 10-of-20 from the charity stripe prior to the critical attempt.

Check out the selection of ECU apparel & merchandise in the CUSA Fans Team Fan Shop!

Sherrod and Young also had strong nights for the Pirates. Sherrod had 19 points while Young tallied 16 points and eight assists. Freshman Rob Sampson had one of the better performances of his ECU career as he finished with seven points and six boards.

After shooting 54.5 percent (12-of-22) in the first half, East Carolina upped that mark to 55.6 (15-of-27) after the break. Meanwhile, the Pirates stepped it up defensively, as Marshall was just 42.9 percent (9-of-21) after halftime.

Tirrell Baines tallied 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Tom Herrion’s club. Dago Pena delivered 17 points and Kane had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.

East Carolina returns home to square off with Southern Miss while the Herd will head to Birmingham for a date with UAB.

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