GREENVILLE, N.C. - Despite a career tying 25 points, including eight treys from Akeem Richmond, ECU fell in overtime to Southern Miss 86-82 in Minges Coliseum Saturday night.
Dwayne Davis scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half as the Pirates could not find an answer in the paint for the more physical Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss(20-6/9-2) got 17 from Neil Watson and another 14 out of Jonathan Mills as the Golden Eagles scored 54 points in the paint. Ty Armstrong found his way into early foul trouble for the Pirates inside and that loosened up things in the middle for Southern Miss.
Miguel Paul scored 22 and dished out 8 assists despite fouling out late in the contest. Robert Sampson helped out with 16 points and 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough on this snowy evening in Greenville.
East Carolina(14-10/5-6) found themselves up by four at the half and with an opening three-pointer from Paul, ECU was moving in the right direction. They were up by as much
as eleven after two Richmond treys gave ECU
a 58-47 lead with ten minutes remaining in regulation play.
But Davis went on a mission scoring on five different possessions in different ways to tie the game at 71-71 with just 28.3 seconds remaining on two free throws that sent the game into overtime.
Another Davis basket gave Southern Miss the lead to open the overtime but Paul and Richmond both connected on three-pointers to give ECU a one point lead.
The Pirates had a chance to score with under 15 seconds to go but a Paris Roberts-Campbell pass sailed over the head of Akeem Richmond and two Cedric Jenkins free throws on the ensuing play sealed the win.
USM controlled the rebounding edge by ten and despite only hitting one of nine from the arc, the Golden Eagles got to the free throw line 30 times, hitting 23 of them.