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Pirates fall short at surging Memphis

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East Carolina's Seth LeDay defends in Minges Coliseum on Nov. 30, 2018.

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The Daily Reflector

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Memphis basketball has the ability and talent to blow out opponents at the FedEx Forum and it beat East Carolina on Thursday night in Memphis, but it required a steadfast effort and late charge to put away the Pirates.

One game after it upset Cincinnati in Greenville, East Carolina started out hot before ultimately falling 78-72 to the Tigers. Memphis, which had six players score in double figures led by Tyler Harris’ 16 points, improved to 9-1 at home this season.

ECU’s Jayden Gardner led all scorers with 18 points. K.J. Davis recorded his first-career double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Pirates (8-7, 1-2 American Athletic Conference).

The previous meeting between the teams was a 90-70 victory by Memphis last season, and the Tigers won by 30 points as recently as 2016.

A 12-1 ECU run in this one during the first six minutes reversed Memphis’ early 10-9 lead and gave the Pirates a 21-11 advantage.

UM (10-6, 2-1) didn’t lead again until converting two free throws, after a Justice Obasohan flagrant foul, for a 60-59 edge with 10:30 left in the game.

“We led for 27 minutes of the game, but we couldn’t have some of the empty possessions like we had where we didn’t even get off a shot,” ECU coach Joe Dooley said on the Pirate IMG Network. “We knew they would make a run and we answered most of them, but we didn’t get the key one at the end.”

ECU led 40-36 at halftime.

It was 49-49 when Shawn Williams’ 3-pointer sparked a 10-2 run by the visitors. Isaac Fleming’s steal and layup created a 59-51 ECU advantage with 13:16 remaining.

The final tie was at 65 with 8:06 remaining. ECU trailed 72-70 before cold shooting by the Pirates led to Memphis opening up its largest lead of eight points during the final minute.

ECU’s largest lead was 15 points, when it was 33-18 after a Seth LeDay basket with 8:03 left until halftime. LeDay, who had nine points, three steals and four rebounds during the first 20 minutes, finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

East Carolina made its first nine free throw attempts. The Pirates finished 12-of-15 from the line, and Memphis was 20-for-30.

UM got hot late in the first half, closing on a 10-0 run thanks to 3-pointers by Kyvon Davenport and Tyler Harris to create the 40-36 halftime margin.

ECU finished 4-of-22 from 3-point range.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

March 24, 2019

Turner Brown waved his arms to the crowd and pumped his fist as he rounded the bases for a go-ahead solo home run Sunday at Clark-LeClair Stadium, perhaps knowing that there are a lot of games remaining in the college baseball season but also that sweeps can be huge in the American Athletic…

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March 24, 2019

Research by East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert and prospective ECU women’s basketball coaches about the Pirates has begun.

Gilbert said Thursday that he doesn’t want to put an exact timeline on a hire, but he has worked toward identifying final candidates. ECU was led by three…

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March 23, 2019

Spencer Brickhouse and Bryant Packard being healthy and in the batting order every day has played a big role in East Carolina baseball’s surge since the start of March.

No hit was bigger Saturday than Brickhouse’s go-ahead, three-run home run to lift the Pirates to a 7-4 comeback…

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March 23, 2019

Some of the veterans and emerging leaders of the new-look East Carolina football offense, namely in the form of quarterback Holton Ahlers and lead running back Darius Pinnix, ensured that the Pirates could celebrate touchdowns Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Saturday morning marked the…

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March 22, 2019

Typically, a starting pitcher does not like bullpen activity early in a baseball game, but Jake Agnos provided an exception to the rule Friday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Agnos jogged out of the East Carolina dugout and to the home bullpen twice during the first three innings to stay loose…

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March 22, 2019

Operation time by the East Carolina football specialists was put to the test Friday.

From long snappers to traditional offensive linemen and field goal holder Jonn Young and starting kicker Jake Verity, the Pirates have pressured that group this week, especially Friday. Coach Mike Houston said the…

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March 22, 2019

East Carolina should have a full arsenal of pitchers rested and ready for its first American Athletic Conference baseball series of this weekend.

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March 22, 2019

Like most college football teams, and even East Carolina under the previous coaching staff, first-year head coach Mike Houston plans for ECU’s quarterback to mainly operate out of the shotgun.

“There is points and times where we may be under center, but it is not going to be a lot,…

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March 20, 2019

East Carolina baseball’s game versus UNC Wilmington scheduled for Wednesday in Greenville was postponed to April 23 because of inclement weather.

No. 14 ECU (15-6) also does not have a midweek game next week, leaving the Pirates to focus on their American Athletic Conference series against…

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March 20, 2019

Plenty of East Carolina football fans were disappointed when defensive standout Nate Harvey was not granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA over the weekend, but offensive lineman Branden Pena did receive a medical hardship waiver, and he already has proven to be valuable during the…

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