A storybook Senior Night

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, February 29, 2012

East Carolina’s Darrius Morrow (1) scored a season-high 27 points in his final home game of his career to lead the Pirates to a 69-68 overtime victory over Marshall on Wednesday. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

GREENVILLE — It was a storybook Senior Night for center Darrius Morrow as he poured in a season-high 27 points in the final home game of his career to lead East Carolina to a 69-68 overtime victory over Marshall on Wednesday.
The night began with a ceremony honoring Morrow and ended with him being seranded as the Pirates’ lone senior was the center of “thank you Morrow” chants from an announced crowd of 4.334 fans as the game reached its closing seconds.
“I started the game nervous, the whole atmosphere shocked me but I just really feel loved at East Carolina,” Morrow said. “I never really had that feeling anywhere, it was kind of overwhelming.”
Throughout his four-year career with the Pirates it’s been Morrow who has overwhelmed opponents as he currently ranks fifth on the school’s all-time list in scoring and seventh in rebounding and first in free throws made and attempted.
On Wednesday, he was dominant as he played 41 minutes and racked up a game-high 27 points to go along with his eight boards and two steals.
For East Carolina (13-15, 4-1), the win snaps a five-game losing streak, and by overcoming a 34-32 halftime deficit, the victory marks the first time all season it has won a game after trailing at the break.
“I’m really proud of our group, it was a grinder game,” East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo said. “I’m proud of the way they responded and made some plays.”
One of the biggest plays of the night was made by backup point guard Corvonn Gaines. With the scored tied at 63 with 34 seconds left on the clock, Marshall (17-11, 8-6) called for DeAndre Kane (17 points) to go one-on-one with Gaines at the center of the court. Gaines was up for the challenge as he played stellar defense without fouling to get a stop and give the Pirates the ball back with 6.3 seconds.
After a timeout, ECU’s Miguel Paul was able to get the ball and race the length of the court but could not convert on an off-balance, step-back three and the game went into overtime.
In the extra session Morrow refused to lose as he scored ECU’s first four points, all on free throws. Up 67-65, Paul would clinch the game as he went 2-for-2 from the stripe to extend ECU’s lead.
It was around that time that the fans let Morrow know just how much they appreciated his play.
“I’m going to miss this place. I love the fans, they were chanting my name, my Twitter name and that’s just love right there,” Morrow said. “I’m just going to miss it.”