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East Carolina Basketball Rallies to Knock Off Memphis Tigers

Coming into Saturday’s contest, East Carolina basketball was desperate for a conference win to get them back in the race. They were matched up against a Memphis team that, while tough, has been incredibly inconsistent all year. Thanks to a late game-winner from Brandon Suggs, East Carolina improved to 2-2 in conference play while Memphis fell to 3-3.

East Carolina got out to a solid start in AAC play with a win over Tulane. After that game, however, they dropped two straight road games. For most of the contest, it looked as if East Carolina would continue their fall. Down 10 with just over two minutes left, the Pirates held Memphis to just one point for the rest of the game.

Crucial turnovers and missed free throws again caused Memphis to fall apart when it mattered most.

East Carolina Basketball Beats Memphis, 72-71

Pirates Win Free Throw Battle

Memphis came into the game as one of the best in the country in getting to the line. On Saturday, East Carolina beat them at their own game. The Pirates made 16 free throws while Memphis only attempted 11. Games are won and lost at the free throw line, and this game was no different. No matter how good a team plays, it’s hard to win when a team makes more than you attempt. That is especially true when you can’t make them either.

Memphis was middle of the pack in the AAC in free throw percentage going into Wednesday’s game against UCF. In the two games since, Memphis has made just 10 of their 29 attempts. On Saturday, the Tigers shot just 4/11 from the line, good for 36%. Memphis shot better than East Carolina from the field and from deep, but thanks to their incompetence at the line and the Pirates executing, they fell short.

east carolina college basketball
Credit: Savanna Elkins/247 Sports

Brandon Suggs Steps Up

Brandon Suggs had his fair share of struggles coming into this game shooting the ball. In his previous three games, Suggs shot a combined 5/23 from the field, good for just 21%. In a game where he needed to step up for his team, Suggs came alive, scoring 17 off the bench on 55% shooting from the field. On East Carolina’s 12-1 run to end the game, Suggs contributed four points, a rebound and a steal, which turned into two points.

For all the times that he stepped up, the one thing many will remember is his incredible game-winning shot with two seconds left. In big situations, big players step up. Although he has struggled as of late, there is no doubt he has the ability to be a guy the Pirates can trust to make the right plays every game.

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