Tyson’s miracle forces OT, but ECU falls to Tulane

Published 3:36 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

GREENVILLE — A late surge and a Hail Mary by B.J. Tyson was enough to send East Carolina into overtime Wednesday night against Tulane. The Pirates, however, couldn’t snap their two-game losing streak in a 71-69 loss.

The Pirates trailed for the majority of the game. Shawn Williams, who started off the game slow with only two points in the first half and would finish the game with 15, took the lead for the home side. He hit a 3-pointer, making the score 57-55 with 7:34 remaining in the game. The Pirates went down to the wire with the Green Wave until the end.

ECU realized at halftime that Tulane struggled with zone defense. In the second half, the Pirates transitioned from man-to-man defense to their zone, which helped to shut down the Green Wave, Tyson said.

Tulane regained the lead, 67-63, after Melvin Frazier tipped in a missed shot with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. Frazier would go onto finish the game with 23 points, but the Pirates defense closed him out, causing him to only have two points in the second half.

Tyson responded with a layup and was fouled on the shot. Tyson missed the free throw and the Pirates couldn’t get the rebound, which forced ECU to foul Tulane with only four seconds to go.

Tyson fouled again once the ball was thrown inbounds, putting the Green Wave in the bonus to shoot free throws. Tulane’s Colin Slater missed the shot and Tyson jumped up to get the rebound. He called a timeout immediately once he had full possession of the ball, with only two seconds remaining.

When the game resumed, Kentrell Barkley launched the ball down court to Tyson, who lobbed a layup right under the basketball to tie the game at 67 apiece with 0.8 seconds remaining. The Green Wave couldn’t get a shot off in such little time. Regulation ended and the game went into overtime. Later that night, Tyson’s miraculous basket ended up on ESPN SportsCenter’s top 10.

There were only a total of six points scored in overtime, with the Green Wave outscoring the Pirates 4-2.

In the remaining eight seconds of overtime, ECU had a special play designed for Williams to take a three to win the game, but he couldn’t get open to take his shot. Williams turned the ball over when he attempted to pass the ball to Tyson. The clock stopped and the Pirates dropped their third-straight American Athletic Confernence game in a row.

“It was a tough one, we fought back, and guys gave it all we could. We just came up short,” Tyson said.

Interim Coach Michael Perry said since the team is so young they are still learning how to finish and how to win. Being such a young team leaves room for mistakes and turnovers.

“(We) have to take better care of the ball and not get careless in crunch time,” said Perry.

The Pirates will be back at Minges Coliseum on Saturday to host Memphis. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.