GREENVILLE, N.C. --- The East Carolina men's basketball team improved to 2-0 to start the 2012-13 season with an 87-51 victory over Methodist University inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Senior Maurice Kemp led the Pirates with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 25 minutes of action. Junior Robert Sampson posted a double-double with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, blocking four shots and handing out three assists.
Eleven of the 13 players that competed in the game for ECU (2-0) scored with four additional players scoring eight or more points. Freshman Marshall Guilmette finished one point and one rebound shy of his first career double-double. Senior Shamarr Bowden handed out a career-best nine assists.
Bryan Hockaday led Methodist with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
ECU built an early 10-point, holding the Monarchs without a field goal for the opening 7:31. Although they held Methodist to 3-of-15 shooting in the first 12 minutes, the Pirates could not pull away from their pesky opponent. ECU held a slim 21-14 lead with 6:53 remaining in the first half.
The Pirates then scored seven unanswered points to double-up the Monarchs, 28-14, and led by 12 at halftime, 36-24, despite shooting 1-of-14 behind in the arc and 42.1-percent (16-38) from the field.
As the game approached the final 11 minutes, ECU was still holding onto a 12-point lead, 55-43. That's when ECU began to assert itself, outscoring Methodist 28-4 over the next 10:31 to push its lead to 36, 85-49. The Pirates had runs of 6-0, 9-0 and 10-0 during the game's final 10 minutes.
ECU dominated inside, outscoring the Monarchs 60-24 in the paint and tallying 19-second chance points. ECU finished the game shooting 48.6-percent (36 -74), while holding Methodist to 31.1-percent (19-61). ECU also forced 19 turnovers and only committed eight.
East Carolina will host the UNC Greensboro Spartans on Friday night inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.