GREENVILLE, N.C. - Corvonn Gaines sank a three-point jumper with .4 seconds remaining as ECU slipped by UCF 88-85 in overtime Saturday night in Minges Coliseum.
For the senior out of Madison, Wisconsin, it was his only shot attempt of the game.
East Carolina(10-5/1-1) were down by nine at the half, 36-27 and as much as 17 in the second half before Shamarr Bowden began to heat up from the arc. Meanwhile Maurice Kemp and Ty Armstrong did their share of damage in the paint with 16 points each. Bowden ended up with 16 as did point guard Miguel Paul in the Pirates' tenth win of the season. Robert Sampson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards as he continues to round into mid season form.
It was all ECU could do to control UCF's Keith Clanton in the paint. Clanton had a game high 36 points and pretty much had his way in the lane all night.
So ECU went to a zone at times in the second half and limited Tristan Spurlock to just nine points in the second half after yielding 14 points to the Woodbridge, Virginia junior in the first half. His 23 points was a career high to go along with eleven rebounds for the Knights.
The Pirates get the win despite UCF shooting at a 53 percent clip from the floor, but the Knights' 4 of 16 night from the arc and 7 of 12 free throw shooting helped keep ECU in the contest. ECU only hit 45 percent from the floor but connected on 10 of 29 from three-point range and canned 10 of 13 at the charity stripe in the win.
UCF(11-5/1-1) got 60 of their points in the paint and out rebounded the Pirates 30 to 11 in the first half. The Pirates did a better job on the glass with a shorter lineup at times in the second half, but Central Florida controlled the glass 46 to 34 for the game.
In a game where the Pirates only yielded seven turnovers, they forced 16 miscues from the visiting Knights.