Williams Scores 27, Fleming Adds 20 and 10 in 85-81 ECU Win Over Wave
ECU snapped a five game losing streak with an 85-81 win over Tulane Saturday night in Fogleman Arena at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Shawn Williams launched in five treys and 22 points in the first half alone on the way to a game high 27 points to lead the Pirates. That’s the second time in a row with 26 or more for Williams.
Point guard Isaac Fleming played 37 minutes without a turnover and had his first double-double of the year with 20 points to go along with ten rebounds. Seth LeDay added 14 points and Jayden Gardner came on late in the contest after a very slow start. He remained patient and scored 11 points.
Connor Crabtree scored 23 points, Samir Sehic had 21 and Moses Wood added 13 to lead Tulane in scoring, but the Green Wave losing streak increased to 16 with the loss in just ECU’s first road victory of the year.
It was the Pirates’ sixth straight win over Tulane and Joe Dooley was pleased with the solid defense and overall toughness of his ball club on Saturday.
“I thought the second half we forced sixteen turnovers and then we guarded them it like we’re capable,” Joe Dooley said after the game, “I thought we got a little bit grittier in the second half.
It was a pure shootout in the first twenty minutes with both teams shooting the basketball well.
“The first half was a horse shooting contest and they’re a good shooting team,” said Dooley, “In the second half we got a little bit tougher and made some plays. I thought Isaac (Fleming's) floor game was outstanding. Shawn (Williams) got us off to a great start and then we had some of the other guys pick up the slack a little bit.”
East Carolina led by as much as thirteen in the first half and got off to a 20-9 start over the Green Wave on four Shawn Williams baskets including three treys in the first seven minutes of the contest.
While Jayden Gardner was limited to just one point in the first thirteen minutes, Connor Crabtree’s three-point drive and subsequent three-point jumper got Tulane back to within five some eight minutes into the game. Then on a drive by Moses Wood, he scored and suddenly the game was tied at 25-25.
Despite Williams’ fifth trey of the half and another basket from Dimitri Spasojevic, Wood scored again for Tulane and then a three-point play from Connor Crabtree, Shakwon Barrett scored on a goal tending call and two Wood free throws had the Green Wave up 43-36 at the four minute mark.
A Sehic three-point bomb in the last five seconds of the half for his thirteenth point of the half had Tulane up 53-47 at halftime despite 22 first half points from ECU’s Shawn Williams. Connor Crabtree scored 15 in the first twenty minutes and Moses Wood had 13 for Tulane at the break.
The two teams combined for just nine total turnovers in the first twenty minutes.
Wood’s three point bomb from the corner had the two teams tied at 66-66 with eight minutes to go. But Fleming’s three point bomb with the shot clock winding down and a Seth LeDay fast break dunk with a flagrant foul tacked on gave Shawn Williams a free throw. ECU then added a Isaac Fleming layup on the ensuing possession that gave the Pirates a six point working margin with just three minutes left on the game clock.
Caleb Daniel’s third trey of the game trimmed the ECU lead to just two with 1:05 left. The Pirates used the bulk of the final minute and late in the shot clock Jayden Gardner was fouled and hit two free throws with 37.2 seconds remaining to finally get in double figures with ten points.
Sixteen second half Tulane turnovers didn’t help matters for the Green Wave and when Gardner was fouled again with 22 second left and hit one, ECU suddenly had five point lead before Sehic’s three pointer with 11.2 seconds left cut the Pirate lead to just two.
Two Shawn Williams free throws with 9.4 seconds left iced the game for the Pirates at 85-81.