ECU Wins C-USA Home Opener

Junior Sam Hinnant made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points to lead East Carolina to 75-62 win over Marshall inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Senior Darrell Jenkins added 14 points and freshman Brock Young scored 12. The point guard duo combined for 26 points, 11 assists, zero turnovers and went 16-of-18 from the free throw line.

The victory was ECU’s (7-8, 1-1 C-USA) third straight home win and seventh overall of the season, surpassing its entire win total of the 2006-07 campaign in half as many games. The loss was Marshall’s (9-6, 1-2) second consecutive defeat.

Darryl Merthie led Marshall with 16 points and Mark Dorris contributed 15 points. MU’s leading scorer, Markel Humphrey, was held to just nine points.

With his team trailing 48-40 less than five minutes into the second half, Hinnant converted a four-point play that sparked a 23-8 run over the next 10 minutes and gave ECU a seven-point lead, 63-56.

The Pirates took their first lead of the half as Jenkins blew by a defender along the baseline for a lay-up. Hinnant followed with his sixth 3 of the night for a five-point lead before Jenkins made two free throws to cap the spurt.

ECU made 14 consecutive free throws in the final four minutes, while Marshall missed key free throws with the game still up for grabs.

East Carolina shot 45.8 percent from the field, including 47.4 percent from behind the arc. Hinnant and Legan combined for all nine of the Pirates’ 3s, shooting 9-of-16 as a duo. Marshall shot 56.5 percent in the first half, but made only 38.1 percent of its second half shots.

The Pirates built a seven-point lead midway through the first half, 21-14, when Legan made his second 3 of the half and maintained the lead until the final 10 seconds of the half.

Marshall took a two-point lead with seven seconds left before intermission as the Pirates were called for goal tending. The Thundering Herd led 37-35 at halftime.