basketball Edit

Memphis Tops ECU 79-69 Behind 31 Points From Jeremiah Martin

ECU's K.J. Davis finds an opening on the baseline in the first half of ECU's 79-69 loss to Memphis.
ECU's K.J. Davis finds an opening on the baseline in the first half of ECU's 79-69 loss to Memphis. ( photo)

Jeremiah Martin poured in 31 points Wednesday night to lead Memphis past ECU in Minges Coliseum. Mike Parks added 12 points for the Tigers who advanced their record to 15-10 and 7-5 in AAC play.

Martin was effective shooting the basketball but he was equally lethal getting to the foul line where he made 12 of 15 attempts in the victory. Overall the Tigers scored 38 of their points in the paint.

"It's good to get a win on the road but it's a quick turnaround and we're playing against a good team coming up Saturday," Martin said, "We're going to enjoy this trip and when we get back to Memphis, our focus is going to be strictly on Central Florida."

Penny Hardaway wasn't taking any chances and he came away happy to beat an ECU team that so far has seemed to match up pretty well with the Tigers.

"It feels good to get a road win. We haven't had one since the Tulane game. We knew it was going to be tough because of what ECU did to us in our building," Hardaway said after the game, "They were up 16 points and we came back and won a tough game and had to win it at the end to beat them in our building - especially coming off a game that we feel like they should have won at South Florida that they just couldn't finish."

Despite losing, the game, the Pirates placed five players in double-figures and were led by Seth LeDay who scored 15 points to go along with ten rebounds. Shawn Williams added 14, Jayden Gardner picked it up in the second half to end up with 13 while both K.J. Davis and Ty Foster chipped in with ten points each.

With the loss ECU falls to 2-10 in league play and 9-15 overall.

"Obviously I thought we did some good things enough so to keep ourselves in a position to win the game," said ECU head coach Joe Dooley, "Obviously one of the big differences is you've got a guy like Martin who jumps up and makes plays and provides what seniors should do. Makes a lot of big plays at the end of the game and that's hopefully where we will evolved in the future."

Martin’s three-point jumper with five seconds left in the half gave Memphis a 40-37 lead at halftime and gave Martin his 11th point of the period to lead all scorers at intermission.

Mike Parks added ten points for the Tigers. While ECU got eight first half points from Ty Foster to go along with seven each from K.J. Davis and Isaac Fleming. The Tigers connected on nearly 58 percent of their shots in the first half.

The Pirates’ leading scorer Jayden Gardner didn’t scratch until 2:45 to play in the first half when he scored on a pair of shots to briefly tie the game at 37 apiece.

After battling from behind, a pair of Seth LeDay free throws finally gave ECU a 55-54 lead with 11:29 to go. But two Jeremiah Martin treys helped the Tigers regain a four point 68-61 cushion with 5:46 remaining. Then a pair of nifty Kareem Brewton extended the Memphis lead to eight with 2:45 to go.

ECU threatened late when a Gardner drive cut the lead to five with a little over a minute to play but the Pirates couldn’t follow it up with more points while Memphis seemingly had resort property on the free throw line down the stretch to hold on for the victory.

PI Postgame Audio: Jeremiah Martin and Alex Lomax

PI Postgame Audio: Penny Hardaway

PI Postgame Audio: Joe Dooley