Camels top ECU rally for OT win
Darren White scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Campbell to an 86-81 overtime victory Wednesday at East Carolina.
In a game the Camels led by as many as 16, Campbell (5-9) withstood a second-half Pirate rally, then concluded the game on an 11-6 run to earn its first victory in Greenville since Feb. 27, 1985.
“I’ve been in a lot of different basketball games and that one was bizarre,” said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing, whose team led 66-52 after Marvelle Harris scored underneath with 3:31 to go.
ECU (8-4) then outscored the Camels 19-3 and took its first lead, 71-69, on Shamarr Bowden’s triple from the left side with 0:38 remaining.
Andrew Ryan’s short jumper tied the score with 0:21 to go and ECU called timeout to set up a final shot.
Former Southern Lee star Akeem Richmond, who led ECU with 18 points and scored all 18 in the second half and overtime, got the ball in the right corner, but could not get a good look and his effort came up short at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Ty Armstrong’s lay-in put ECU in front 78-75 with 2:09 left in overtime, but with point guard Miguel Paul and power forward Maurice Kemp on the bench with five fouls each, ECU didn’t score again until Richmond’s trey at the final horn.
Richmond hit 6-of-13 treys for the Pirates, who missed their first 18 from beyond the arc. Kemp added 18 points and 12 rebounds; Robert Sampson had 13 points and Armstrong 12 for ECU.
ECU lost for the first time at home this year after opening the season 7-0 at Williams Arena. The Camels improve to 2-19 all-time at Williams Arena/Minges Coliseum.
For the Fighting Camels, White hit 9-of-17 from the field, including 2-of-2 threes, dealt five assists and made three steals. Harris scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and hit career highs with five assists and four steals for the Camels, who won consecutive games against ECU for the first time in CU’s Division I era (since 1977-78).
Darius Leonard scored a career-high 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Leek Leek came off the bench to add 11 points. Trey Freeman chipped in eight points and seven assists.
“It was great to see a lot of Black and Orange in the crowd, and we felt them all night long,” said Laing. “East Carolina has the potential to be such a great perimeter team. We came out ready to play. The whole team was tied together, particularly on the defensive end. We rebounded better, competed on every possession, made some mistakes and never quit.”
Leading 36-25 at the break, Campbell extended the margin to 45-29 on White’s triple with 15:45 to play. The Camel lead again reached 16, 60-44, on Leek’s bucket with 7:44 to go before ECU made its late run.
On the night, Campbell shot 52.3 percent from the field, including 6-of-9 in overtime. The Camels made 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) from the stripe and had 25 assists on 34 buckets. East Carolina finished 32-of-75 (42.7 percent) from the floor, 8-of-34 from three-point distance, and made 9-of-18 free throws.
ECU hosts UNC Wilmington Saturday at 5 p.m. in the last non-conference game of the regular season for the Pirates, who then hit the road to face Memphis on Jan. 9.
The Camels open Big South play Saturday at home against Gardner-Webb (8-6) in a 3:30 p.m. tip-off.