Pirates Advance To CIT "Final Four"

East Carolina advanced to the Final Four of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament with a 70-58 win over Loyola Maryland Tuesday night at Minges Coliseum.

Loyola University Maryland did not score for a stretch of nearly six minutes in the second half, enabling East Carolina to turn a one-point deficit into an eight-point lead.

The loss ends the Greyhounds season with a 23-12 record, the second-most wins in school Division I history.

East Carolina (21-12) scored the first eight points of the game, but Loyola responded with nine in a row to take the lead on a Dylon Cormier layup less than five minutes in.

The Pirates retook the lead on a Ty Armstrong jumper the next time down the court, but after two tie scores, Cormier put Loyola up 19-17 with 7:16 on the clock.

R.J. Williams scored Loyola's next five points on a pair of free throws and a three from the top of the perimeter, and Loyola was up five, 24-19, with 4:37 on the first-half clock. An Olson jumper pushed the lad to seven, but East Carolina would pare it back to four with 3:21 left.

Kemp, who went 6-of-10 from the free-throw line in the first half and 9-of-13 in the game, made 1-of-2 in consecutive trips for the Pirates before an Etherly jumper pushed Loyola back up seven with 2:21 on the clock.

Loyola had held without a field goal since the 9:17 mark until Paris Roberts-Campbell hit a three at 1:29 to get the Pirates back within four. Campbell wasn't done, hitting another three on East Carolina's next possession to make it a 30-29 Loyola lead with under a minute on the clock.

Brooks made a short hook-shot with less than 30 seconds left, but Kemp scored on a dunk and was fouled with just over a second left before the break, and he hit the free throw to send the teams to the locker room tied at 32-32.

Cormier scored twice, and Winbush added a jumper in the first 90 seconds of the second half, giving Loyola a six-point lead and forcing an East Carolina timeout.

The Pirates went on a 7-0 run that gave them the lead, 39-38, on the back end of two free throws by Armstrong.

Loyola went back up on a Brooks putback at 16:16, but three Miguel Paul free throws 14 seconds back on top. An Olson jumper at 12:26 gave the Greyhounds a 45-44 advantage, but it would be their last of the game.

East Carolina scored the next nine points and held Loyola without a point until Olson scored again, this time on a layup, at 6:39.

Kemp led all players with 20 points, and Robert Sampson had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Cromier paced the Greyhounds with 12 points and eight rebounds; Olson added 11, and Winbush scored 10.

ECU will play host to Evansville Saturday at 5pm in the CIT semifinals.


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