East Carolina cruises past Fayetteville State, 96-78 - WNCT

East Carolina cruises past Fayetteville State, 96-78

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Akeem Richmond poured in a career-high 37 points and sank a school-record 10 3-pointers to help East Carolina coast past Division-II Fayetteville State 96-78 Tuesday night.

Richmond shot 11-of-18 overall, 10-of-17 from 3-point land and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line en route to amassing his first-career 30-point game. His 17 attempts from beyond the arc were also the most in program history, surpassing Sam Hinnant's previous record of 16 set back in 2008.

His 37 points were the most by an East Carolina player since Blue Edwards scored 38 points against UMBC on Dec. 27, 1988.

Three other players also reached double-figure for the Pirates, as Caleb White added 14, Prince Williams chipped in 12 and Paris Roberts-Campbell contributed 11.

Freshman Antonio Robinson turned in another solid performance off the bench with nine points, a career-high nine rebounds and a team-high four assists. Newcomer Brandan Stith continued to be a terror on the glass, pulling down 14 rebounds and adding four blocks while scoring six points on the night.

The Pirates fell behind early as Fayetteville State opened the game with a 5-0 run on its first two possessions, but ECU tied the game at 16 just over five minutes in at the 14:36 mark.

East Carolina forced seven turnovers in the first half behind 11 points from Richmond to take a 10-point lead, 45-35, into halftime.

The Pirates' first 12 points of the second half came off Richmond's hand, which started with a pair of 3-pointers in first 70 seconds of play. The Sanford, N.C. native followed up with a four-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer to give the Pirates a 55-43 lead, before hitting a layup on the next possession to complete his scoring surge.

The Broncos crept back within eight points, 70-62, with 9:24 left, but that was as close as they would come to catching the Pirates.

Richmond continued to knock down shots and drained his eighth 3 from beyond the arc at the 7:03 mark for his 300th career 3-pointer.

His 10th conversion from downtown came with 1:10 left on the clock, which topped his own school record of nine set at SMU last season. The 10 3s were also put him in a four-way tie for the most in a single game by a Conference USA player, and the first to do it since Memphis' Roburt Sallie accomplished the feat in 2009.

ECU shot at a 52 percent in the second half on 13-of-25 shooting to finish the night at 50 percent (27-of-54). The Pirates were 11-of-25 (.440) from three and shot 31-of-46 (.674) as a team from the free throw line.

Torian Showers led the way for Fayetteville State with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

The Pirates return to the court Sunday, Dec. 8, against Mount Olive. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

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