ECU wins first game of C-USA tournament

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Daniel Hunt

For The Washington Daily News 

ECU overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat the University of Texas-San Antonio, 79-76, in the first round of the Conference USA tournament in El Paso, TX on Tuesday.

Prince Williams went to the line with four seconds remaining and a chance to ice the game with the Pirates leading 78-76, but the sophomore hit just one of two free throws. On the other end, UTSA senior guard Devon Agusi got a clean look at a three to tie the game, but the shot clanked off the front iron and ECU prevailed.

It was the second time in as many tries this season that the Pirates defeated the Roadrunners, and in both instances, Second Team All-C-USA shooting guard Akeem Richmond set a new career-high for points. On Feb. 8, Richmond torched UTSA in Minges Coliseum for 31 points, but on Tuesday, the Sanford native connected on a school record 11 three-pointers en route to a new career high, 36 points in the win.

On the night in which he shot 11-for-19 from behind the arc, Richmond moved into fourth on the all-time list for three-pointers in a single season with 150 and also set the C-USA record for triples.

He received help from junior Paris Roberts-Campbell, who added 20 points. The guard duo accounted for 56 of ECU’s 79 points and dropped all 14 of the team’s three-pointers on the night.

ECU is set to take on the host the No.5-seeded UTEP Miners on Wednesday at 8 p.m. If the Pirates can advance and defeat the Miners for the first time in two tries this season, it will set up an ECU vs. Southern Miss rematch (ECU lost the first game, 60-46 in Minges) on Thursday. If the Pirates want to make history and become one of the lowest-ranked seeds ever to make the Big Dance, they will have to win five games in five days.