From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Akeem's record comes in record time

ECU senior guard Akeem Richmond talks with reporters after establishing a new ECU career record for 3-pointers made in a home win over Rice on Saturday night. [Photo by W.A. Myatt. ©]
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By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Akeem Richmond came to East Carolina with a reputation as a gunner from the outside.

Despite playing with the Pirates for just two seasons, Akeem will leave the program as East Carolina’s all-time leader in three point field goals.

He set the record in East Carolina’s win over Rice on Saturday night. Akeem says he had an idea that the record would fall when it did.

“When they told me that I needed five, I thought that tonight (Saturday) would be the night,” Akeem told the media afterwards. “I can’t lie. I was thinking about it.”

Akeem broke the mark first set by former Bertie High School standout Lester Lyons. The silky lefty made 229 three pointers in 112 games during his career from 1990-94.

Akeem needed just two seasons and 63 games to break the record. In all, Richmond had five three point field goals and 23 points in the 67-55 win over the Owls.

Coach Jeff Lebo was especially proud of the accomplishment.

“It’s incredible,” said Lebo. “It’s terrific that he was able to break the record in just two years. I know it will mean something to him later. It doesn’t mean that much now because he’s more concerned that we won the game.

"That’s the right mentality to have. We still have some games left but to do that in two years is just unbelievable.”

Akeem will go down as one of the most exciting players in ECU basketball history. Theodore “Blue” Edwards was probably the most exciting Pirate hoopster in my thirty years. While Blue was athletic and powerful, Akeem puts the ball in the basket a different way. When Akeem is hot, there is no defense that could compete.

At one point during last season's postseason run to the tournament title, Akeem was struggling from the outside. I asked him how he planned to get out of his slump.

“My Dad told me a long time ago to just keep shooting,” he said smiling. “So I just keep firing away. They’ll go in again.”

They’ve gone in again and again through the years.

Just think how many threes Richmond would have recorded if he had played the other two seasons at East Carolina?

Pirates struggle at Virginia

For the second straight season Virginia swept East Carolina on the diamond.

Last year the Cavs came to Greenville and won two games before the third was postponed. This year UVa made it three up and three down in Charlottesville.

Jeff Hoffman pitched well enough to win in the opener. He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. Brandon Downes had two of those knocks, which were both home runs.

The Pirates scored just two runs in that first game and were lucky to get those two. Zach Houchins popped up in the infield. The Virginia second baseman lost the ball in the sun and it turned into a gift of a two-run single.

But thanks largely to Downes' round-trippers, UVa prevailed 3-2.

Virginia shut out East Carolina 4-0 in game two, and then broke out the brooms with a 6-2 win on Sunday.

The Pirates had just 17 hits in the three games and never really got a good handle on any of the Virginia pitchers.

The Pirates return to the Commonwealth on Tuesday to take on VCU. That game was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved because of the threat of snow for the area on Wednesday. ECU opened their midweek schedule with a win over Campbell last week.

Next weekend it’s the annual Keith LeClair Classic. The Pirates open with Western Kentucky on Friday and then it’s Pittsburgh on Saturday and Ohio State on Sunday.


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02/25/2014 01:21 AM