El Paso, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Akeem Richmond netted 36 points and buried a league-record 11 3-pointers to lead his 12th-seeded East Carolina Pirates past the 13th-seeded Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, 79-76, in a Conference USA Tournament first-round matchup at the Don Haskins Center.
All of Richmond's field goals were from 3-point distance, as the guard connected on 3-of-4 from the free-throw line to round out his scoring. Paris Campbell chipped in 20 points for the Pirates (17-15), who overcame an 18-point deficit in the first half to take the lead in the second period. East Carolina advances to the second round of the C-USA Tournament to take on fifth-seeded Texas-El Paso on Wednesday.
Devon Agusi scored 21 points to pace UTSA (8-22), while Jordan Sims contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Phillip Jones netted 11 points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and dished out five assists, and Edrico McGregor scored 11 points of his own. Keon Lewis rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Roadrunners with 10 points in the loss.
UTSA shot an impressive 65.4 percent from the floor in the first half, hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range and taking a 47-38 lead into the intermission. East Carolina connected on 44 percent of its field goal tries in the frame, and made 7-of-16 from deep.
The Pirates mounted a furious second-half comeback on 55 percent shooting from the field, hitting 7-of-13 from distance and 12-of-20 from the charity stripe. The Roadrunners went bitterly cold, netting just 30.8 percent of their attempts in the period, allowing ECU to take control and steal away the lead.
East Carolina outscored UTSA from the free-throw line, 21-14, and from 3-point range, 42-36. The Roadrunners had the edge in points in the paint, 22-10.