Dylan Johnson / ESPN Greenville
East Carolina University Pirates fell short in overtime for the second time in three games, this time a 77-73 loss to the University of Tulsa. ECU is now 3-4 on the season in games where both teams score 70 or more points. Here are five takeaways:
- Incredible comeback: ECU fell behind early 19-5 and by as much as 17 points in the first half. The Pirates trailed 37-26 at halftime. ECU came out an entirely different team in the second half, going on a 14-0 run to tie the game 40-40. The game remained close the rest of the way as ECU outscored Tulsa 41-30 in the second half to force overtime.
- Losing close games: ECU hasn’t had luck in close games this season. Sunday’s game saw the Pirates lose by four in OT, just one week after losing by four in OT to USF. ECU has lost six other games this season by six or fewer points, something that isn’t unusual for one of the youngest teams in the country. “What we’re learning to do is learning how to play hard and compete to win. I think there’s a difference. You can play hard but that doesn’t mean you’re playing to win. I think they’re learning how to compete and try to win the games,” ECU head coach Joe Dooley said after the game.
- Shawn Williams on fire: Part of the reason ECU got off to a bad start was that Williams started out cold against Tulsa, missing his first four 3 point attempts. After that, Williams almost literally couldn’t miss. He shot 8-for-10 on 3 point shots the rest of the way and finished the game with 26 points, by far a game-high. Williams’ play sparked ECU’s second-half run.
- No bench: ECU’s bench was outscored by the Tulsa bench 33-2 on Sunday. 33-2. The Golden Hurricanes played four players off of the bench and three of the logged at least 24 minutes. All three of those players scored between 10 and 12 points. ECU played three players off of the bench who combined to shoot 1-for-11. Ty Foster’s two points in 22 minutes were the only bench points.
- Aces for Autism: Sunday’s game was ECU’s annual Aces for Autism game and the players wore custom puzzle piece jerseys for the occasion. ECU has done the Aces for Autism game for the last four seasons in an effort to promote support across eastern North Carolina.
ECU gets almost a week off before it travels to New Orleans to take on Tulane. ECU played Tulane inside Minges back on Jan. 31 and defeated the Green Wave in a close 66-65 game. Tulane stands dead last in the American and has yet to win a conference game at 0-12. Tulane ranks nowhere close to the top of any team category, ranking dead last in the conference in scoring and second-to-last in scoring defense. Caleb Daniels leads the team with 15.4 points per game and Samir Sehic ranks third in the conference with 7.6 rebounds per game