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March 14, 2013

ECU Falls at Tulsa

TULSA - Scotty Haralson led four Tulsa players in double figures with
22 points as the Golden Hurricane sent ECU packing after one game in the Conference USA basketball tournament in BOK Arena in Tulsa, 79-72.

Tulsa erased an eight point Pirate lead in the last 13 minutes of the contest to gain the victory in Danny Manning's initial season as a head coach with one of the youngest teams in America.

Maurice Kemp had 24 points for East Carolina(18-12) while Akeem Richmond came off the bench to add 16 points of his own.

The Pirates got off to their typical slow start before Miguel Paul canned a baseline jumper off an Richmond assist for their first lead of the game at 15-14.

The two teams exchanged baskets in the last seven minutes of the first stanza. Three Richmond treys gave ECU a 23-22 lead.

Kemp's transition dunk off a steal gave ECU a three point lead at 26-23. Tim Peete scored on a layup for Tulsa to close the gap before a Robert Sampson basket gave East Carolina a five point 30-25 lead at intermission.

Richmond led ECU at halftime with eleven points despite not starting the game while Kemp had 9 points and five boards. Scotty Haralson led all Tulsa scorers with 11 points at halftime.

ECU hit only 36 percent in the first twenty minutes but that was misleading as they nailed 7 of 8 from the charity stripe. Tulsa shot even worse at 34 percent including 1 of 7 from the arc and only 4 of 9 from the foul line.

Paul got ECU going early in the second half with a three pointer off a Kemp assist. Richmond then downed a trey and found Kemp for an ali oop slam dunk to put ECU up by five. Woodard scored three times and Paul scored on a drive to maintain the lead.

Kemp's dunk put ECU up by seven at the 13:21 mark and Richmond hit another trey for ECU's largest lead of the game at eight.

Paris Roberts-Campbell and D'Andre Wright exchanged a number of baskets along with a Woodard baseline trey. But Tulsa hung around late on a Haralson basket from the arc to cut the lead to three with six minutes to go, 59-56.

Woodard continued to have his way against the Pirates late with a drive that cut the ECU cushion to just one with 5:10 to go.

Robert Sampson's dunk off a Paul dish kept ECU up by three until Haralson's three-point jumper tied the game at 61 with 3:40 in the game. Roberts-Campbell tossed in another bomb for go back up by three with 3:16 to go.

Pat Swilling and Harrison scored to give Tulsa(17-14) a three point lead with two minutes left in regulation.

Haralson connected on two free throws on a Paul foul and then Paul threw the ball away and Shaq Harrison canned an easy layup to put East Carolna on the ropes late. Paul's subsequent three-pointer for ECU cut the Tulsa lead to five with 41 seconds to go.

Kemp tried to make things interesting late with a basket to trim the Tulsa lead to three, but one last Paul turnover in the last 10 seconds sealed the deal for the Golden Hurricane who win by seven to advance to play Memphis in the next round.

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