Pirates Use Big Second Half To Down NC Wesleyan

Four players scored double figures to lead East Carolina to an 88-69 victory over NC Wesleyan here Tuesday night to extended its winning streak against non-Division I opponents to 26 games.

Sophomore John Fields led the way for ECU (2-2) with 12 points, while senior Cory Farmer and Brock Young added 11 points each. Senior Darrell Jenkins had 10 points in the victory.

NC Wesleyan (1-2) also put four players in double figures led by senior Lenny Hall’s game-high 19 points. Jarmel Arrington added 12 points, while Buddy Williams and Trey Drake added 10 points each.

Wesleyan jumped out to an 11-0 lead, holding the Pirates scoreless for the first 3:37. Drake’s 3-pointer put the Bishops up 9-0 and forced the Pirates to call a timeout before reaching the first media timeout. Following the timeout ECU countered with an 18-11 run to get within four on Jontae Sherrod’s 3-pointer at the 10:33 mark.

The Bishops pushed their lead back to double figures as Hall made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 4:46 of the half to give his team a 10-point advantage, 38-28, with 2:15 left before intermission. However, the Pirates out-scored their foe 9-0 in the final two minutes to pull within one at halftime, 38-37.

Both teams had identical halftime shooting statistics with each shooting 41.2 percent from the field (14-of-34). Both teams made four 3s in the first half with Wesleyan making one more free throw than ECU to hold the halftime lead.

ECU opened the second half by making seven of its first 12 shots to take a seven-point lead, 57-50, with 11:55 left. The Pirates then went on a 11-3 run to push its lead to 15, 68-53. Fields’ dunk at the 9:36 mark gave the Pirates their first double digit lead. His basket was followed by a Jamar Abrams’ breakaway dunk and 3-pointer from Farmer.

The Pirates took a 20-point lead on a lay-up by Sam Hinnant with under four minutes to play.

ECU held Wesleyan to 25.6 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes of play, while shooting nearly 48 percent itself after halftime. The Pirates finished the game shooting 44.7 percent compared to 32.5 percent by the Bishops.

East Carolina will return to action Saturday, November 24 against former Conference USA rival USF. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome in Tampa.