The ECU men’s hoops team finished out the regular season losing 82-73 to UConn on senior day Sunday. The Pirates honored three seniors; Isaac Fleming, Justice Obasohan and Addison Hill.
- Fittingly for senior day, ECU got off to 9-2 start via three straight 3-pointers from seniors. Fleming hit the first one to start the scoring and Hill drained back-to-back shots. Hill would finished with a career-high 10 points on his senior day. “That’s kind of the way you want to go out. Swinging. I thought we played hard. We could’ve got some stops down the stretch but I’m proud of the way we played,” Hill said.
- With the Pirates trailing 15-13, Shawn Williams hit a 3 while being fouled, but missed the free throw. ECU got the offensive rebound and Shawn promptly hit another three to make it 19-15 in favor of ECU. Williams finished with a team-high 20 points after scoring 26 in a matchup with UConn last season. Williams averaged 16.2 points per game in the seven games prior to Sunday’s matchup.
- ECU was down just 64-62 with 5:36 remaining in the second half. From there the Huskies outscored them 18-11 to pull away for the victory. “It’s a two-point game and we needed to play safer, make easier plays and make sure we’re getting a shot every time. I thought with the exception of turning the ball over, we were very efficient offensively. I thought we moved the ball pretty well and got what we wanted.”
- Fleming finished with 18 points, 11 assists and six rebounds on his senior day, after recording one of his triple doubles against UConn last season. Fleming even picked up a mop to help clean the floor with five minutes remaining in the game. Fleming finished the season scoring in double figures in 12 of the last 16 games after doing so just three of the first 14 games. He averaged 16.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 5.4 APG in the five games before the UConn matchup.
- ECU won the turnover battle, turning it over 12 times compared to the Huskies’ 15. The Pirates have committed less turnovers than their opponents in 10 of the last 13 games.
- Josh Carlton, from Winterville, has some big games against ECU. Carlton had 20 points and 16 rebounds in the first matchup between the two teams and followed it up with a 20 point and 10 rebound double-double this time. Carlton did turn the ball over six times and wasn’t whistled for many more travels he should have been. But with LeDay and Rico Quinton both out due to injury the Pirates had no matchup for Carlton. Jayden Gardner isn’t very tall and Obasohan is just 6-6. UConn outscored ECU 40-22 in points in the paint. “(Spasojevic) gave us good minutes. They did high-low us a couple of times and they did a good job with it. Carlton is a force down there and he gave us a lot of problems,” ECU head coach Joe Dooley said.
- Seth LeDay didn’t play after tearing his ACL against Wichita state. What a tough break for LeDay, who sat out the last two seasons due to NCAA transfer rules. LeDay was averaging 11 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Pirates.
- The Pirates have now lost four straight to UConn after defeating the Huskies on Senior day in 2017. Caleb White dropped 28 points in that game. Otherwise, UConn has won every other game between the two during their AAC tenures.
The Pirates now prepare to take on Wichita State in the first round of the AAC tournament, playing Thursday night at 10 p.m. The Shockers are a hot team, going 9-2 in their last 11 games to end the season. Wichita State has plenty of size and Dooley has pointed out ECU may need to use players in different positions and roles.