After pulling off arguably the biggest upset in school history over NC State, East Carolina stumbled in its last two games with a pair of home losses. The Pirates ended that streak Wednesday night by making 13 3-pointers in an 89 -64 route of Coastal Carolina.
Junior Sam Hinnant poured in a game-high 23 points, making 5-of-9 shots from behind the arc. Fellow classmate James Legan stroked the nets for a career-high 19 points, also making five 3s.
Sophomore John Fields, who played only eight minutes against Lee on Saturday because of foul trouble, added 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Brandon Evans contributed 10 points after scoring a career-high 15 on Saturday.
ECU (5-7) shot 50 percent from the 3-point line and shot a season-high 47.6 percent (30-63) from the field while holding Coastal Carolina (6-6) to 39.6 percent shooting (21-of-53).
“I thought we won tonight’s game on Sunday,” said Pirate head coach Mack McCarthy. “We came out and practiced like crazy. We didn’t say a lot to them, but talked a little about some the things we didn’t do well [against Lee].
“They really got after each other for about 60 or 70 minutes. I knew then that they were determined to use all the previous games as motivation to get better.”
Senior Jack Leasure, the Chanticleers leading scorer, led his team with 16 points with fellow senior Everage Richardson scoring 13 points.
The Pirates seized control of the game on a barrage of 3s from Hinnant, who scored nine straight points on three consecutive 3-point baskets to break a 12-all tie and give ECU a nine-point lead, 21-12, with 10:24 remaining before halftime. ECU pushed its lead to 13 on Legan’s first of three first half triples and carried a 14-point advantage into halftime, 48-34.
“We’re sitting there at 12-12 and then bang, bang, bang its 21-12,” stated McCarthy. “Then James comes in and makes three in-a-row. It makes your offense looks so much better when you’re knocking shots down.”
The Pirates connected on 63 percent (17-of-27) of its field goal attempts before intermission, recording its first 60 percent shooting half since December 2005. Conversely it limited Coastal Carolina to 45 percent shooting and out-rebounded the Chanticleers by seven.
ECU watched its lead balloon to 20 in the second half’s first five minutes as freshman Jamar Abrams nailed a 3 from the top of key. The Pirates’ lead never dipped under 18 from that point and was a large as 28.