03/27/13 — ECU reaches CIT semifinals

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ECU reaches CIT semifinals

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 27, 2013 1:47 PM

ECU Sports Information

GREENVILLE -- Maurice Kemp scored 20 points and Robert Sampson posted a double-double to lead East Carolina past Loyola (Md.) in quarterfinal-round play of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Tuesday evening.

The Pirates (21-12 overall) play host to Evansville in the semifinals Saturday. Tip-off is 5 p.m.

Kemp posted his seventh consecutive 20-point game, scoring 10 points in each half. Sampson finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season with Miguel Paul adding 12 points and nine assists.

Dylon Cormier led the Greyhounds (23-12) with 12 points, while Robert Olson added 11 off the bench. Anthony Winbush had 10 points.

Coming out of halftime, Loyola scored the first six points and caused ECU to take an early timeout. The Pirates scored six straight points out of the timeout, tying the game at 38.

Loyola held a 45-44 lead with under 12 minutes to go before Kemp and the Pirates took the lead back for good. Kemp scored seven of the next nine points, including the first five, and ECU went ahead 53-45 on a one-handed dunk from the Miami, Fla. senior.

Loyola cut the its deficit to six with 4:35 to play, but ECU scored eight straight points to push its lead out to 14 as Kemp buried a 3 from the top of the key and Sampson slammed home a pair of dunks.

"Robert Sampson was unbelievable tonight," Lebo said. "He was a big reason why we won the game, and I thought he was the most valuable player in the game."

ECU limited Loyola to just 32 percent shooting the second half and 39.3 percent for the game, including 2-of-20 outside the arc.

"I thought when we went to the zone in the second half that was a big factor; it slowed them down a little bit," Lebo said. "They hurt us inside I thought for the first 22, 24 minutes, but our zone was effective."

The Pirates trailed by seven with 2:21 left in the first half, but Paris Roberts-Campbell nailed back-to-back 3s and Kemp converted an old-fashion 3-point play with one second left before intermission to tie the game at halftime.

The game began with ECU scoring the first eight points before Loyola ripped off nine unanswered. The lead changed twice before the half ended in a tie.