Jan 25, 2014; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates guard Akeem Richmond (1) dribbles up court during the second half against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Southern Mississippi won 60-46. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Conference USA Tournament: ECU rides big second half, holds on to eliminate UTSA

The UTSA Roadrunners were sitting pretty in the first half against the ECU Pirates in the final game of first round action at the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament in El Paso. They had opened a 47-38 lead at the half and looked to continue on with their success in the second period.

Not if Akeem Richmond and Paris Roberts-Campbell had anything to do with it. And despite a late charge by the Roadrunners to try to reclaim the lead, it was ultimately a one-and-done.

Richmond finished with a tournament record eleven three pointers, part of his 36 points, and Roberts-Campbell added 20 as the 12th-seeded Pirates survived a last-minute flurry of points to oust the 13th-seeded Roadrunners, 79-76 and head to a Wednesday showdown with fifth seed and tournament host UTEP.

Richmond and Roberts-Campbell would do much of their damage in the second half as they teamed up to score 56 points and 14 of 26 from behind the arc to put the Pirates up as much as 13 (68-55) with 6:31 left, thanks to a 30-8 run to open the frame. But UTSA went on a 21-10 burst spanning just under 6:30, as several three point makes by Devin Agusi and a big one by Phillip Jones would eventually get the lead back down to two, 78-76, with five seconds left. Following a one of two trip to the line by Prince Williams, Agusi had a great shot at a straightaway tying three, but it hit the front of the rim to end the ballgame.

The Pirates shift their attention to a Wednesday afternoon battle with fifth seed and tournament host UTEP at around 8pm Eastern time. UTEP won the team’s regular season matchup on the road in Greenville, 58-47.

 

Tags: Conference USA

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