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Pirates Beat Spartans, Sets Up Matchup With Duke

Durham, NC -- Paris Roberts-Campbell scored 22 points as East Carolina erased a 17-point second-half deficit to win 76-74 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off Monday night.

After being down by one halftime, Norfolk State (2-2) built up a 64-47 lead with 9:02 remaining. Roberts-Campbell drilled a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and East Carolina (4-0) started its comeback.

The Pirates ripped off a 23-4 run, capped by another Roberts-Campbell 3-pointer, to take a 70-68 lead with 2:38 remaining. The teams traded buckets until Roberts-Campbell completed a three-point play with 49 seconds left, giving the Pirates the 75-72 lead.

Pendarvis Williams scored to cut the lead to 75-74. ECU turned the ball over, but Roberts-Campbell stole the ball back from Williams.

Roberts-Campbell hit only 1 of 2 free throws with 5 seconds left, but Williams' last second shot missed and Jordan Weather tip-in came after the buzzer. Williams led NSU with 18 points.

The victory was the Pirates' ninth-straight, second longest active streak in the country behind Louisville's 18.

Atypical for the Pirates this young season, they got off to a good start building a 10-point lead in the first four minutes as Akeem Richmond made a trio of 3s and Michael Zangari sank the first 3-pointer of his career.

ECU pushed its led out to 13 points, 27-14, with nine minutes to play. The Spartans then went on an 18-5 run over a 7:27 stretch to tie the game at 32. Roberts-Campbell made a layup and Zangari sank a free throw to put ECU ahead by one at intermission.

Zangari finished the game with a career-high 16 points, making 9-of-12 free throw attempts. Richmond added 17 points, making five three-pointers for the second straight game. Brandan Stith came off the bench to grab a game-high 12 rebounds.

ECU ended the game by making eight of its final 12 field goal attempts and nine of 15 free throws in the last nine minutes.

The Pirates finished the game shooting 44.7 percent (21-47) from the floor overall and 40.0 percent behind the arc (10-25). NSU shot 46.3 percent (31-67) from the field, but made just 2-of-14 (.143) 3-point attempts.

The victory advances ECU into the second round of the NIT Tip-Off Tuesday night against No. 6 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start and can be seen on ESPNU.


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