GREENVILLE, N.C. - Maurice Kemp scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds as East Carolina held on to beat Tulane 88-85 in Minges Coliseum Wednesday night.
Kemp hit 10 of 18 from the floor and 8 for 10 from the stripe as the Pirates got their eighth Conference USA win of the year, a team record. Akeem Richmond tossed in 21 points of his own including five treys and 6-7 from the foul line. Richmond passed Sam Hinnent on the ECU all time three-point shots made for a season list at 87, eclipsing the old mark of 85.
The Pirates were down early 7-0 when Ricky Tarrant hit a trey and Josh Davis hit several baskets in the early going. Four Jordan Callahan treys and a drive for another basket kept Tulane(18-12/6-9) on top. Davis got another basket in the paint inside of a minute to go in the first half before a Maurice Kemp drive pulled ECU to within one at halftime, 41-40.
Kemp, Paul and Paris Roberts-Campbell who scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting from the arc, all scored baskets in the early going of the second frame to open up a 56-45 lead with 15:28 to go.
But Tarrant and Davis got their share in the paint and from outside to erase the lead ten minutes later when a Ben Cherry three-pointer gave Tulane the lead 72-71 with 7:05 left in the game.
Terrent tied the game at 76 on two free throws and a Louis Dabney basket found the Green Wave with a one point lead with three minutes to play.
Kemp connected on two buckets in the last two minutes while Richmond hit a trey for an 84-82 lead. Despite a lay-in by Davis, a free throw to keep it within two with 19 seconds left and a Tarrant trey late, Richmond was fouled by Callahan with 18 seconds on the clock and hit two from the charity stripe. Then Miguel Paul's three-pointer with 4 seconds to go was the margin of victory.
ECU(17-11/8-7) gets the win in a game with 13 lead changes despite Tulane dominating the boards 38-22 and getting 38 points in the paint. They did it in part by by forcing 15 Tulane turnovers while only having 8 of their own and hitting 18 of 22 from the foul line in the victory.
ECU also connected on 14 of 28 from the arc for 50 percent which proved big in the end. Tulane shot at a 54 percent clip and hit 9 of 13 from three point range but only hit 16 of 22 from the foul line.
The Pirates have earned a first round bye in the Conference USA Tournament next week and have one regular season game to play at home this Saturday evening for Senior Day when the Pirates host the Thundering Herd of Marshall at 5pm in Minges Coliseum.
Catch PI-TV Postgame with comments from Jeff Lebo, Tulane coach Ed Conroy along with comments from Maurice Kemp and Akeem Richmond.