Virginia Throttles Pirates 76-53
CHARLOTTESVILLE - It was a long night at the office for East Carolina who ran into a buzz saw and fell 76-53 to Virginia Tuesday night at John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia bounced back from their only loss of the season to (25)West Virginia with five players in double-figures against ECU, led by 13 points from Kyle Guy.
London Perrantes, Marial Shayok and Mamadi Diakite all scored 12 and Jered Reuter added ten for the Cavaliers who are ranked as high as 12th in the nation in the AP Poll.
Jeremy Sheppard was the one bright spot at point guard for ECU where he may have found a starting job with 17 points in just 21 minutes of play. B.J. Tyson chipped in with ten points while Virginia held Caleb White scoreless for the last 36 minutes of the game with just six points.
Virginia hit 56.6 percent from the floor including 9 of 21 from three-point range, 22 assists while committing just six turnovers. The Pirates were cold shooting with the exception of Sheppard and connected on just under 37 percent for the evening. East Carolina did hit 10 of 23 from the arc.
“Give them credit, they made some shots. They started out 1 of 11 and then they made about six in a row and that’s when the game got away from us a little bit,” ECU head coach Jeff Lebo said, “We battled a little bit in the second half. We went nose to nose with them in the second half. I thought Jeremy Sheppard showed some signs, but you’ve got to make some shots. They’re going to control the block with the doubles. Andre (Washington) really struggled in the game getting anything done. He turned the ball over and you’ve got to make some shots because they defend. Everything 16 feet and in, you’re not going to get anything easy and we didn’t. You have to rely on the jump shot which most people do.”
“I thought Shep shot it great. Caleb struggled a little bit shooting the basketball and you’re going to have to make some contested shots and we didn’t do that enough. Especially in the first half. You have to make shots against them on the road and we started out pretty well. When we went inside the double teams just swallowed us up and we turned the ball over a bunch."
After falling behind early by five, ECU(7-3) got on the scoreboard on a pair of threes from both Caleb White and B.J. Tyson that gave ECU a 12-9 lead with 14:05 on the clock in the first half.
The Pirates maintained a three-point 14-11 lead before the two teams swapped leads three times. Then three Cavalier jumpers from Jered Reuter and Kyle Guy gave Virginia some breathing room at 20-16. Virginia continued the assault on what would be a 16-2 run on nine ECU first half turnovers with Perrantes and Kyle Guy both shooting in two more bombs from three-point land in a 34-18 Virginia game at the four minute mark.
58 percent shooting for Virginia to just 33 percent for ECU helped fuel Virginia’s run. Mamadi Diakite scored from both inside and out with eight first half points to go along with ten points from Perrentes as the Cavaliers took a commanding 42-20 lead into the locker room. B.J. Tyson led ECU with eight first half points and Caleb White was limited to just two made shots in the first seven minutes before going fourteen minutes without a bucket to close the first period.
Virginia traded baskets with ECU for the next eight minutes after intermission. Everybody got into the act for the Cavs while ECU got three treys from AAC rookie of the week Jeremy Sheppard in a twenty-point 55-35 contest with eleven minutes to go.
ECU finally got to the charity stripe for the first time with 10:40 to play in the game. Three made free throws on one of two from Deng Riak and Kentrell Barkley’s first two points of the game only managed to keep the Pirates within 24 at 62-38 at the eight minute mark.
Virginia coasted in the rest of the way to pick up their eighth win of the season against just one defeat. With the loss, ECU falls to 7-3 on the season.
ECU returns to the court after the exam break to host the College of Charleston on Thursday December 15 in Minges Coliseum. Game time is 7 p.m.