Pirates shoot down UCF on the road

Published 8:23 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

By Staff
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jontae Sherrod scored 21 points and had nine rebounds as East Carolina handed Central Florida its third straight defeat, beating the Knights 74-62 on Wednesday night. It was the Pirates’ second straight victory over the Knights, both on the road.
UCF scored the game’s first basket on the game’s opening possession, it was the only time the Pirates (10-8, 2-2 Conference USA) trailed the entire evening. Erin Straughn answered with his first of four 3-pointers and gave the Pirates the lead, which they never relinquished.
The Pirates made their first six 3-point attempts and led by 11, 25-14, midway through the opening half. Straughn made the first three 3-pointers, followed by one from Corvonn Gaines and two from Brock Young.
The final 10 minutes of the first half was a game of runs. First, the Knights (14-3, 1-3) outscored the Pirates 11-4 to pulling with four at 29-25. ECU followed that with 12-1 spurt to take a 15-point lead as Pirates turned their attack inside and built the lead to 41-26 on Darrius Morrow’s lay-up with 2:17 left in the half.
UCF scored the final 10 points of the half, including a 3-pointer by A.J. Rompza at the buzzer that cut the ECU lead to five, 41-36.
The second half began with the two teams trading 3-point baskets and UCF getting to within three, 44-41, 1:04 into the second session. That was as close as it got the rest of the game.
Sherrod’s steal and pass ahead to Gaines for a lay-up started a 16-4 run that gave East Carolina a 62-45 lead with 10:47 capped by Straughn’s fourth3-pointer of the night as the shot clock expired.
The Pirates scored only one point over the next 7:30 of the game.
UCF outscored East Carolina 10-1, cutting the deficit to 63-55 on Taylor Young’s 3-pointer with 3:46 to play.
Morrow, who finished with 14 points, stopped the drought with a lay-up at the 3:17 mark and East Carolina converted 8-of-12 free throws the rest of the way to hold on for the win.
Straughn scored all 12 of his points from behind the three-point line, making 4-of-5 attempts.
Isaac Sosa led the Knights with 16 points; Keith Clanton contributed 12 and Marcus Jordan 11.
The Pirates return to the hardwood Saturday, Jan. 22 at Marshall. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va.