White Scores 28 to Lead ECU to a 66-62 Senior Night Win Over UConn
Caleb White tossed in 28 points including seven treys to go along with 18 points from Kentrell Barkley as ECU came back from a four-point halftime deficit to beat UConn 66-62 on Senior Night in Minges Coliseum.
White talked about having a big night on his last outing in Greenville and what he did to do so.
“I prayed a lot and tried to treat it as much as I could as another game,” White said, “Shots were going and I kept shooting them. Pretty much all of them felt good. It started to slow down a little later when things got settled. They started to pay a little more attention and put a more emphasis on me. We had other guys to step up and get it going too and that is what’s good about our team.”
Barkley talked about the level of ball movement that yielded good shots for much of the night and what that does for the Pirates when the basketball doesn’t stick in any one guy’s hands for very long.
“I just felt like our ball movement was key tonight. We kept moving it and people were in different spots and it got Caleb open and me and Jeremy open as well. That was key for us.”
For acting head coach Michael Perry, Wednesday night’s win was satisfying for a team that has had it’s difficulties closing out games down the stretch.
“This is a great win for our team and a great win for our program. I’ve been here, this is my tenth season. Obviously I’m vested here not just with the program but in eastern North Carolina. To be a part of a night like this and there haven’t been that many nights like this since I’ve been around here, it’s really rewarding obviously for me but also for the kids," Perry said,
"You’re talking about a team that was our league champion last year, NCAA tournament participant. Three of their starters were starters for an NCAA team last year and they were NCAA tournament champions just a few years ago. To be in this spot a few years later against a team that won an NCAA Championship a few years ago just speaks volumes as to where this program has come from and where we are heading.”
“We’re not done yet, but we’re really excited about this night and we’re going to enjoy it and live in the moment as much as possible. This is a special moment obviously for our program,” Perry told PirateIllustrated.com.
Connecticut jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first eight minutes of the game on pair of Jalen Adams baskets along with post moves from Amida Brimah and Juwan Durham.
Three Caleb White treys tied the game at 13-13 midway into the first period before three Vance Jackson buckets pushed the UConn lead back to eight at 21-13.
Kentan Facey scored three times in the next four minutes but so did Caleb White for ECU including a four-point play from behind the arc that trimmed the UConn lead to four at 32-28 at halftime.
White led all scorers with 17 at the break for ECU while Facey and Jackson scored eight for Connecticut who hit 46 percent from the floor including 50 percent of their three-point attempts in the first twenty minutes. ECU went 6 of 17 from the arc.
East Carolina took the lead on Caleb White’s eighth three-point bomb in a 46-43 ballgame with 13:22 to play before Elijah Hughes extended the lead to six on a corner trey with 12 minutes to go.
Free throws from Vance Jackson, Steven Enoch and Kentan Facey along with a Jalen Adams jumper in the lane helped UConn trim the ECU lead to three with 8:34 to play.
But three Barkley baskets and an Andre Washington free throw had the Pirates up 61-54 at the five minute mark.
Rodney Purvis nailed a big time three-pointer from the left corner to tie the game at 62-62 with 1:38 in regulation. Then Elijah Hughes connected on a free throw with twenty seconds to play to add to the total and Jeremy Sheppard was fouled with 4.8 seconds to play to ice the victory for the Pirates.