As impressive as East Carolina’s offense was in its comeback victory over UNC Greensboro last Friday, the Pirates likely wouldn’t have posted their first win over a Division I opponent this season without a much-improved defensive effort in the second half.
During the game-changing 28-8 run that turned a 54-40 UNCG lead into a 68-62 ECU advantage, the Pirates played with newfound vigor on defense, led by 6-foot-4 senior guard Corvonn Gaines. Gaines did not attempt a shot from the field or the free throw line and finished with no assists, blocks or steals, but he left his imprint on the game by holding Spartan star Trevis Simpson in check until the final minutes and generally disrutped UNCG’s offensive rhythm as ECU completed its comeback.
Gaines was also partly responsible for limiting Kory Van Dussen, who exploded for 16 points in the first half, to just two after halftime.
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