Feb. 4, 2012
Rice v East Carolina Game Book
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Rice was held in check on the boards, scoring just two second-chance points and East Carolina utilized a second-half surge to beat the Owls 82-68 Saturday in Minges Coliseum.
While the Owls were held to just two points following off five offensive rebounds on the night, ECU scored 14 second-chance points, none bigger than a Paris Campbell three-pointer with 3:25 to play that put the Pirates up by nine, 73-64.
Rice had cut an earlier East Carolina nine-point lead down to five after ECU head coach Jeff Lebo was called for a technical foul. Lebo received the technical when he argued a foul called on Miguel Paul as Rice's Tamir Jackson drove inside.
Connor Frizzelle hit both free throws of the technical then Jackson made both of his free throws and the Pirate lead was 69-64 with 4:26 left on the clock.
ECU forward Darrius Morrow's one-of-two opportunity at the line extended the lead back to six and the Pirates got the ball back after a Rice miss.
Working the clock, ECU got the ball out to Robert Sampson who launched a three which caromed off the rim and was grabbed by Corvonn Gaines who fired the ball back outside where Campbell stood open and knocked down the three.
Dylan Ennis managed to make one of two free throws on the Owls' next possession before the team failed to convert the next three times on the offensive end of the floor. The third possession ended in a turnover and on the other end of the floor Campbell scored while being fouled on a fastbreak layup to give ECU a 75-65 lead with 1:22 to play.
Rice forward Ahmad Ibrahim was called for two technical fouls following the play. Paul made four straight free throws and Campbell added one at the line to give ECU an 80-65 lead with 1:21 remaining.
ECU took its first nine-point lead earlier in the second half after Rice had taken a 54-53 lead with 12:38 to play. The Pirates rallied for an 11-1 run.
Maurice Kemp's tip-in of a Paul missed three gave the Pirates a 64-55 lead with 7:48 to play.
The Owls would look to answer.
Ennis ended a five-minute, Rice field goal drought with a three-pointer to cut the lead to six, 64-58 with 7:33 to play.
Later, a Gaines three-pointer would put ECU back up by nine, 69-60 with 4:43 on the clock.
Gaines would come off the bench to go 5-for-6 from the field and convert all three of his three-point attempts for 13 points. Morrow led ECU with 16 points while Kemp registered a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. Paul also scored 14 points for the Pirates.
Ennis scored a career-high 21 points for the Owls. He was 7-for-12 from the field and converted on 5-of-7 three-point attempts. He also had five rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Tamir Jackson came off the bench to score 17 points. He also finished with six rebounds and four assists.
Rice led by as many as six points in the first half as Jackson's fastbreak layup with 5:34 to play gave the Owls a 31-25 lead.
ECU also had as big as a six-point lead in the period before the Owls got hot from outside. At one point, Rice converted on three consecutive three-pointers, including two by Jackson to get the Owls back into the game. The junior guard's second during the run put the Owls in front 23-19 with 8:04 to play in the first half.
The Owls made five, three-pointers in the period and shot 48 percent from the field for the half.
But sparked by Morrow's 13-first half points, the Pirates converted on 50 percent of their shots in the half and held a 39-38 lead at the break. Morrow was 6-for-9 from the field.
ECU outrebounded the Owls 39-29.
Rice junior forward Arsalan Kazemi never got in sync after first-half foul trouble limited his playing time. He attempted just two shots for the game and finished with one point and eight rebounds.
Rice, now 13-11 and 4-5, is back in Houston next week. The Owls travel across town to take on the University of Houston on Wednesday before playing host to SMU Saturday in Tudor Fieldhouse. ECU improved to 12-10 and 3-6 with its third straight conference win.