No. 21 Memphis Avoids Upset By East Carolina, 61-58

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Tarik Black had 12 points and seven rebounds and No. 21 Memphis survived another scare before beating East Carolina 61-58 Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

Will Coleman added 11 points for the Tigers (12-3, 1-0), who did not have a field goal in the final 5:23 of the game, and didn't help themselves by hitting on 6 of their 11 free throws over that stretch.

That allowed the Pirates (8-7, 0-1) to stay within striking distance. East Carolina had a chance at the last shot to tie the game. But Chris Crawford stole the ball on the possession, ending the threat.

Darrius Morrow led East Carolina with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Jamar Abrams added 15. Brock Young scored 10 for East Carolina, which lost its second straight.

Memphis has had close wins against Arkansas State, Austin Peay and Tennessee State recently, and was embarrassed in its last outing - a 104-84 loss to rival Tennessee.

Memphis has never lost to the Pirates, and East Carolina was trying to win for the first time after 43 straight road losses against ranked teams. The Pirates' last win over a ranked opponent was at home in December, 2002 defeating then-No. 13 Marquette.

Memphis led 33-21 at halftime after holding the Pirates scoreless almost 7 minutes midway through the first half. That helped Memphis score 12 unanswered points and erase an early lead.

The Pirates hit their first four shots as Memphis seemed sluggish getting to the perimeter. But the Tigers finally awoke with a push of energy.

At halftime, Memphis defense held East Carolina to 29 percent shooting and forced 12 turnovers.

The Pirates came out firing from long-range to get back into the game. East Carolina hit five of its first seven long-range shots, then put together six straight points to tie the game at 49 with just under 8 minutes left.

The teams were still tied at 56 with 3:50 left, but Memphis hit enough of its free throws down the stretch to hold off the Pirates.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2011 at 04:59 PM
    even the basketball team can play defense, kept Memphis under 76
  • by Anonymous on Jan 9, 2011 at 03:06 PM
    ECU beating any Division 1 team would be an upset.
  • by Getting closer Location: Raleigh on Jan 9, 2011 at 09:48 AM
    Keep working hard boys, you'll break through. ECU basketball is fun to watch again.
  • by Don'tHateOnPirateNation Location: Greenville on Jan 9, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    "EZU"....Would that be Football or Baseball that makes us a "1 sport school with 1 sport fans", no one in the state brings in more attendance for baseball than ECU and NC State is the only school that brings in more fans for Football...and you can't call them fans, they're just a bunch of pitiful rich people that can't find anything else to do on a Saturday except put on a red shirt and pull for a team they don't care about. And the "EZU" thing was funny in the '90's, but soon you have to face the fact that ECU has some of the best programs in the country including medical, teaching, and business.Grow up losers.
  • by Moderators Nightmare on Jan 9, 2011 at 06:54 AM
    Let'em talk smack all they want, it just shows how truly ignorant they are.
  • by Rob Bass Location: Greenville on Jan 9, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    Some of these comments are so typical of ACC fans! This is another 1st year coach with us, who was and All-American in high school and college. Even if you don't like ECU(arrgghh!), you would at least think that you would support one of your own! Coach Lebo is doing a GREAT job for us, as he has done at every stop of his coaching career. Keep up the GREAT work! We will support you!
  • by no quarter Location: hyde on Jan 9, 2011 at 06:12 AM
    to EZU, first of all it was an away game and second we have baseball pal.
  • by J & J on Jan 9, 2011 at 05:11 AM
    I cannot believe I was a Carolina fan as a child, but I guess when your a child you make silly decisions and do stupid things. As I have grown and lived in Eastern NC I am well aware just how much we are the "51st" State, and how much the Triangle is a fantasy land of wanna be elitist. I truly feel that all the schools in the Triangle area are fine institutions and serve a purpose for higher education; however, its the product and caliber of person some become that I question.
  • by ECUSux on Jan 8, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    A LOSS IS A LOSS!! No matter the score, an ECU loss will always satisfy me!!
  • by EZU Location: Fans on Jan 8, 2011 at 08:59 PM
    If this was a Football Game you would have seen those Pink or Purple Flags Everywhere. That's Typical of these EZU Fans though. Guess they were pulling for State,UNC or Duke Now. One Sport School with One Sport Fans and always will be.
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