basketball Edit

Pirates Fall to UConn 82-73 to Close Out The Regular Season

Isaac Fleming and UConn's Christian Vital battle for a loose ball in the first half of ECU's 82-73 senior day home loss.
Isaac Fleming and UConn's Christian Vital battle for a loose ball in the first half of ECU's 82-73 senior day home loss. ( photo)

UConn got 20 points from Josh Carlton and 19 points from Tyler Polley to lead four players in double figures in a 82-73 win over ECU win on Senior Day in Minges Coliseum.

The Huskies took a three point halftime lead and expanded it in the last ten minutes of the second half to pull away with a relatively easy victory.

Shawn Williams led the Pirates with a twenty points to go along with 18 points and eleven assists from senior Isaac Fleming who continues to come on strong late in the season. Jayden Gardner added 11 points and nine boards along with 12 points from Dimitrije Spasojevic in ECU's last game of the regular season.

Fleming said UConn's screen and re-screen offense was giving ECU difficulty in trying to stop the Huskies on defense. Also the numbers were short depth wise for the Pirates without forwards Seth LeDay and Rico Quinton who both were out with injuries on Sunday. LeDay is out for the season with an ACL injury.

“They would screen then you come off that screen and they’d have another screen right there. It wasn’t that difficult, but it was like kind of hard to help switch through all of that. They were kind of getting us discombobulated a little bit,” said Fleming, “Not really having that depth. The guys who would usually come in, contribute and help us, we really missed them.”

“I think we played hard. We could have got some stops here and there down the stretch but for the most part I’m proud of the effort,” fellow senior Addison Hill said.

UConn got forty points in the paint and ten fast break points in the win. Afterward ECU head coach Joe Dooley recapped his team’s performance on Sunday.

“I thought we were good offensively for the most part. We had to turn some untimely turnovers into transition points. I thought that was the biggest thing. Their ability to make plays on a short clock was a big difference along with their ability to turn our turnovers into baskets, especially during that stretch in the second half that really hurt us.”

ECU took an early 9-2 lead on a pair of three-pointers from Addison Hill and another from Isaac Fleming.

A pair of Shawn Williams treys along with baskets from Dimitrije Spasojevic, K.J. Davis and Addison Hill allowed ECU to maintain a three point 29-26 lead with just under four minutes to go in the half.

The Huskies recaptured the lead with just under minute to go in the first half on a Josh Carlton basket in the paint. Then with 14 seconds left in the period Jalen Adams added another UConn basket that gave the Huskies a three point 36-33 lead at the half.

UConn opened up an eight point 58-50 lead with less than twelve minutes to play on a pair of Tyler Polley three pointers, a Josh Carlton layup and a dunk from Sid Wilson.

ECU made a bit of a run on baskets from Fleming and Spasojevic that cut the led to four before an inside basket from Jayden Gardner trimmed the UConn lead to one at 64-62 with 5:36 to play.

But a Josh Carlton basket coupled with a Tyler Polley dunk and a pair of Jalen Adams layups gave the Huskies a commanding 13 point lead with 2:24 remaining. Then Carlton’s dunk with a minute to play was the icing on the cake for UConn.