Tulane holds off ECU in overtime, 71-69
GREENVILLE, N.C. –
Melvin Frazier led all players with 22 points to complement eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocks, while Cameron Reynolds contributed 16 points, seven boards and three heists. Jordan Cornish also reached double figures with 10 points.
Shawn Williams led five ECU (8-13, 2-8 AAC) players in double-digit scoring with 15 points, while Kentrell Barkley compiled 12 points, 18 rebounds and four assists. B.J. Tyson also scored 12 points, while K.J. Davis and Isaac Fleming chipped in 10 apiece.
The Green Wave (13-8, 4-5 AAC) scored on their first two shots of the game to grab an early four point advantage, but the Pirates responded with a quick 6-0 scoring run off two turnovers in a matter of 30 seconds to pull in front for the first time. The lead changed hands four times inside the first 10 minutes, as back-to-back three-point play conversions by Frazier and a trey by Reynolds gave the Wave a 19-15 edge with 9:19 to go.
ECU took the lead back with five straight points, but Tulane ripped off a 7-0 run of its own, capped by Reynolds’ second 3-pointer of the night, to pull back in front, 26-20 with 4:42 left. Ahead 28-25, the Green Wave scored another seven consecutive points to build their first double digit advantage of the game, 35-25, down to the 2:03 mark and forcing the Pirates to use a timeout.
The Wave kept the lead above 10 points for the remainder of the first half before taking a 39-28 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Tulane shot 15-for-29 (.517) from the field, 3-for-10 (.300) from 3-point range and 6-for-9 (.667) at the free throw line in the first half, while East Carolina went 10-for-27 (.370) from the floor, 3-for-11 (.273) from outside and 5-for-10 (.500) at the foul stripe.
The two sides exchanged baskets to start the second half, making four of seven shots, respectively, as the Green Wave remained ahead, 49-38, with exactly 15:00 remaining. Six straight points by the Pirates down to the 12:28 mark cut their 12-point deficit in half, 51-45, forcing the Wave burn a timeout.
Despite going five minutes without making a basket, Tulane remained in front, 55-50, but a 7-0 burst by ECU gave the Pirates their first lead since a 20-19 edge with 7:36 left in the first half, forcing the Green Wave to call a timeout with 7:34 to go.
Three ties and four lead changes summarized the next five minutes of action, as ECU held a 63-62 lead with 2:58 left, but a three-point play by Cornish on the Wave’s next possession put his team back in front by a pair.
Neither team scored for over two minutes until Frazier tipped in a missed basket to push the margin to four, 67-63 with nine seconds to go. The Pirates made a basket and drew a foul with five ticks remaining, but missed the free throw, to remain down by two.
After a missed free throw by Tulane, ECU called a timeout with just two seconds remaining and drew up a play. A length of the court pass by Barkley fell into Tyson’s hands as he turned and fell forward, sinking an acrobatic layup to tie the game at 67 with eight tenths of a second remaining to send the game to overtime.
East Carolina scored first in the five-minute period on a layup, before a Reynolds dunk on the next possession drew the score even once again at 69. Frazier made a layup with 40 seconds remaining to put Tulane ahead, 71-69, before blocking a shot attempt at the other end with just eight seconds to go.
The Green Wave nabbed a pair of steals by Reynolds and Frazier in the final seconds to hold on for the two-point triumph.
Tulane returns home for a Super Bowl Sunday matinee against Temple on February 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT) and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNews.
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