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Pirates drop heartbreaker in OT

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East Carolina's Jayden Gardner, center, goes up for a shot while being guarded by South Florida's Mayan Kiir, left, and Michael Durr during a game on Jan. 26, 2019. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Sunday, February 10, 2019

East Carolina took host South Florida to overtime on Sunday night, then held three separate leads in the extra period, but a game shaped almost entirely by free throws was ultimately won that way by the Bulls, 72-68 in Tampa.

Numerous free throw sequences late in the second half and a missed jumper to win it by Shawn Williams left the score knotted at 62-62.

In OT, Isaac Fleming’s free throws made 64-62 briefly, and Seth LeDay’s tip-in gave ECU (9-14, 2-9 American Athletic Conference) a 66-64 lead. A 5-0 swing by USF — all free throws — gave the Bulls a 69-66 edge, and yet three more points from the charity stripe sealed the deal for USF (17-6, 7-4).

Similarly, the last eight points scored in regulation also were foul shots, with no field goals registered by either team in the final two minutes-plus.

The Pirates came out of the gate scoring and fashioned a comfortable 39-28 lead by the intermission, but a 14-2 run by the Bulls early in the second overturned that lead. After that, the score was tied four more times before overtime.

Four of ECU’s five starters scored in double figures, led by 14 points from Fleming, 13 from Williams and 11 each from Jayden Gardner and K.J. Davis.

The Pirates were outrebounded 46-22.

Leading the way for USF was David Collins with a game-high 21 points to go with five assists and nine rebounds. Mayan Kiir added 13 points, LaQuincy Rideau had 12 and Justin Brown 10 in the win.

East Carolina returns home to host Memphis on Wednesday night.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…

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August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…

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August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

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August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

The physicality he saw Saturday during the Pirates' final preseason scrimmage was vastly different from the spring Purple-Gold Game.

Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing…

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August 17, 2019

East Carolina’s football players were asked about their favorite ice cream flavor Saturday and they got the opportunity to pick on teammates, but there also were serious questions pointed their way about the Aug. 31 opener at N.C. State and the rest of an important season for the Pirates…

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August 17, 2019

In an exhibition match defined by defense, Jenna Dages scored the only goal for the East Carolina women’s soccer team to top VCU 1-0 on Friday night inside Johnson Stadium.

Dages’ goal came at the 45:34 mark. From there, goalie Meaghan Haley and ECU's defense helped to maintain the lead.…

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August 17, 2019

Here are five East Carolina football players who have stepped up during preseason camp and will be looking to continue their momentum when the Pirates complete camp with a scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium:

1. Xavier Smith, linebacker: Smith has kind of quietly morphed from a tight end…

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August 16, 2019

East Carolina’s football practice Friday morning ended with center Branden Pena snapping to quarterback Holton Ahlers in the victory formation, and then the Pirates celebrated. Kicker Jake Verity also made a 57-yard field goal during a late-game sequence.

On the day before an important…

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August 16, 2019

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia has played countless soccer matches in Canada and the United States, impressing plenty of observers with her fluid dribbling and defensive skills.

Her effect on American Athletic Conference coaches was felt Tuesday when she was named AAC preseason defensive player of the year,…

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August 15, 2019

Bruce Bivens is as vocal as ever on the East Carolina football defense, which can both excite and worry first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston.

Bivens' voice is important and it carries now in the middle of ECU's defense as he approaches his junior season and his second year as a starting inside…

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