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Stith's block denies Mount Olive

By Al Myatt
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GREENVILLE — East Carolina freshman Brandan Stith blocked a layup attempt by Mount Olive's Dory Hines as time was running out to fend off an upset bid and preserve a 77-75 Pirates win on Sunday afternoon in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

A tip by Dominique Reed with 1:27 to go gave the Division II Trojans a 75-74 lead.

ECU (8-2) did just enough at the free throw line down the stretch.

Akeem Richmond made one of two at the line with 1:19 remaining to tie the score at 75. Paris Roberts-Campbell dropped the first of two chances with 39 seconds left to give the Pirates a 76-75 lead.

Antonio Robinson dropped the second of two foul shots with six seconds to go for the final margin.

Story continues after the following picture...

Freshman forward Brandon Stith blocks Dory Hines' potential game-tying
layup attempt with a second left to preserve ECU's 77-75 win over Mount
Olive College. (Photo by W.A. Myatt. © All rights reserved.)

Richmond made 11 of 14 from the line to lead ECU with 16 points. Robinson was 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 on free throws for 15 points. Stith had 13 points. Freshman Caleb White contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Prince Williams had nine points in 19 minutes. Roberts-Campbell finished with eight points and five assists.

Guard Dontrell Brite led the visitors with 30 points.

Story continues after the following picture...

ECU guard Akeem Richmond (1) and forward Brandon Stith (25)
celebrate a close victory over Mount Olive College Sunday afternoon.
(Photo by W.A. Myatt. © All rights reserved.)

"The best thing I can say about that is that we won," said fourth-year Pirates coach Jeff Lebo. "I thought they played great.

"Brite was unbelievable. He was phenomenal. He comes in averaging about 12 points a game. He was at 30 tonight, and he scored every which way — underhand, righty, lefty, backwards, forwards, sideways, threes, twos. We had our best defender on him the last 10 or 12 minutes. A guy getting off like that really gave confidence to their other players."

ECU made just two of 16 attempts from behind the arc. The Pirates dropped 31 of 46 free throws compared to 15 of 20 for Mount Olive.

"We struggled to score," Lebo said. "We can't manufacture anything easy inside. We have severe heat on us to make shots from the perimeter."

The Pirates have lost frontcourt performers Robert Sampson (transfer), Ty Armstrong (left program) and Marshall Guilmette (knee injury), who were projected returners from a 23-12 team that won the Tournament last season.

That has shifted the burden inside to Stith and Michael Zangari (four points, four rebounds on Sunday).

Stith was able to avert a potential disaster at the buzzer Sunday going into a break for exams. The matchup counted as an exhibition for the Trojans.

ECU will host N.C. A&T on Saturday at 5 p.m.

East Carolina 77, Mount Olive 75

Date: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
Facility: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
Attendance: 3,827
Records: ECU 8-2; MOC 0-1


Mount Olive 39 36 75
East Carolina 38 39 77

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PAGE UPDATED 12/09/13 03:19 AM.

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