Pirates end regular season with loss
The Daily Reflector
Monday, March 6, 2017
Consecutive wins continued to elude East Carolina right up to the end of the season on Sunday night in Houston.
The Pirates, fresh from a rousing home win over Connecticut last week, was very much in the hunt against the host Cougars at halftime, but were decimated in the second half of an eventual 71-53 rout.
ECU (14-17, 6-12 American Athletic Conference) was down just a point at the break, 33-32, but was blasted 40-19 in the second half by the Cougars (21-9, 12-6).
Freshman guard Jeremy Sheppard was the lone Pirate to crack double digits in points with 12, followed by eight each from Kentrell Barkley and Denk Riak, who also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds to Barkley’s six.
After a big game from 3-point range against the Huskies, ECU struggled to make 5-of-21 from beyond the arc at UH, and was out-rebounded 51-32. Coming off a career night, senior Caleb White was riddled to five points despite playing 31 minutes, second most on the team.
Rob Gray Jr. continued to pace the Cougars with a game-high 24 points, followed by 11 from Wes Vanbeck.
There were seven lead changes in the game despite the lopsided second half.
ECU will next play at the AAC tournament on Thursday in Hartford, Conn. The Pirates will take on Temple at 3:30 p.m. in the opening round.