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Pirates cruise past Chowan, 95-45

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Six players scored in double figures and the East Carolina men's basketball team defeated Chowan, 95-45, Thursday evening at Minges Coliseum.

Akeem Richmond poured in a game-high 15 points, while Caleb White followed up with 13 of his own. Petar Torlak, Brandan Stith and Greg Alexander chipped in 11 apiece, and Marshall Guilmette rounded out the double-figure scoring with 10.

"We have Akeem who can score from the perimeter, but we need the other guys to step up and be able to score it from different areas," Pirate head coach Jeff Lebo said. "The toughest teams, for me, to prepare for are the ones that have balance. Hopefully we'll continue to have that throughout the year."

Stith recorded his second double-double in just his third-collegiate game, grabbing a team-high 15 rebounds on the night. The total was the most by a freshman since Gabe Blair accomplished the feat on the exact same day seven years ago.

East Carolina (3-0) raced out of the gates with a 9-0 run, forcing a Chowan timeout just under three minutes into the game. Each of the Pirates' starters scored a basket on the team's first five baskets. ECU opened up its biggest lead of the game at 20 on an alley-oop from Antonio Robinson to Brandan Stith with 13 seconds left in the first half, as the Pirates took a 45-25 advantage into the intermission.

 

 

 

Led by Richmond's 12 points on four three-pointers, ECU shot 17-of-35 (.486) from the floor and 6-of-17 (.353) from beyond the arc, while holding Chowan to 30-percent shooting and baiting the Hawks into seven turnovers in the first half.

Two Chowan three-pointers in the opening 90 seconds of second half was enough for the Pirates to call a timeout, but the message from the coaching staff clearly came across, as they responded with 41-7 run over the next 13 minutes to take a 86-38 lead.

The Pirates increased their lead to as many as 55 with 3:13 remaining in the game, as the team's balanced attack was complemented by its unselfish passing. Paris Roberts-Campbell, Prince Williams and Antonio Robinson shared the team lead with five assists apiece, as ECU combined for 22 dimes on the night.

"We've taken good care of the ball, and handled it pretty good," Lebo said. "The point guards tonight had 10 assists and only one turnover. We'll take that any night."

East Carolina replicated its first-half shooting percentage in the second half, en route to finishing the night 34-of-70 from the field and 11-of-26 (.423) from three-point range. ECU shot 11-of-17 (.696) from the free-throw line, and outrebounded Chowan, 59-27, while holding the Hawks to 17-of-64 (.266) shooting on the night.

"I thought, defensively, we were pretty alert for most of the game, holding them to 26 percent," Lebo said. "We knew they would come in and be able to shoot the ball in five spots, and that's pretty hard to defend."

For Chowan, Phoenix Butler-Poole scored a team-best 11 point, while tying three teammates with five rebounds.

The 50-point win was tied for the Pirates' ninth-largest margin of victory in program history.

Up next for the Pirates is a first-round matchup with Norfolk State in the 2013 NIT Tip-Off on Monday, Nov. 18, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. Opening tip is scheduled for approximately 9:30 p.m.

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