GREENVILLE, N.C. - It was no easy task, but East Carolina held on for a 62-60 win over fiesty Gardner-Webb in Minges Coliseum Tuesday night.
Maurice Kemp pretty much carried the Pirates with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Marshall Gilmette chipped in with 9 points. Robert Sampson ended up with 15 rebounds for the contest for ECU.
"It was one of those wierd, odd games," said third year ECU head coach Jeff Lebo, "I worried about this kind of game coming off the Carolina game. Those who know and follow basketball know about Gardner-Webb. I was proud of my team to find a way to win it."
The Pirates went up early 20-8 on an Akeem Richmond three-point shot with 8:30 in the first half. A 13 to 6 run and a trey from Jarvis Davis pulled the Bulldogs to within one with a little over two minutes left in the first half.
Two free throws from Tashan Newsome pulled Gardner-Webb within five at intermission at 32-27.
Two Newsome free throws with 2.3 seconds to go tied the game at 61. Sampson was fouled on the inbounds play and after an air-ball on his first attempt, Lebo called timeout and decided to have Sampson attempt to clank it off the rim rather than hit the shot for a two-point lead. Sampson missed the rim which gave the ball back to the Bulldogs.
A Kevin Hartley turnover and subsequent foul from Gardner-Webb put ECU's Paris Roberts-Campbell on the charity stripe with one second remaining. Campbell connected on both to seal the deal for the Pirates.
The Pirates shot at a 57 percent clip in the first half which is the first team to shoot over 50 percent in a half against the Bulldogs. ECU(7-2) ended up at 46.8 percent including 4 for 13 from the arc. Gardner-Webb, not known for their three-point shooting, connected on 9 of 18 from the arc led by point guard Max Landis who heated up in the second half hitting 5 of 7 from the arc for 12 points.
South Central product Donta Harper led all Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points, while Kevin Hartley had 12 and Tashan Newsome tossed in 10 in a losing cause for Gardner-Webb(7-6).
Catch Chanellos Pizza PI Postgame with postgame interviews with coaches and players.