College Basketball: ECU wins CIT title

  • Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:08 p.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:33 p.m.

Associated Press

OGDEN, Utah — Akeem Richmond hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift East Carolina over Weber State 77-74 Tuesday night and claim the tournament championship, capping the best season in school history.

The Pirates trailed 71-65 with 2:50 remaining but closed on a 12-3 run.

Weber State (30-7) had a chance to pad its late lead but had trouble at the line, making 9-of-19 free throws overall.

Miguel Paul led East Carolina with 23 points and Maurice Kemp added 20 for the Pirates (23-12), who tied a school record for wins in a season set by the 1953-54 squad.

The loss was Weber State’s first at home since Dec. 15

The Wildcats, with former star Damian Lillard in the arena, seemingly took charge after going up 71-65..

But Weber State missed six free throws in the final three minutes, including one by Berry that would have given the Wildcats a 75-74 lead with 17.3 seconds left.

Instead it was tied, setting the stage for Richmond, who scored off a pass from Paul, sending the entire East Carolina team rushing onto the floor afterward.

Richmond scored six points on 2-of-6 shooting, but that’s all East Carolina needed.

Weber State opened the second half on an 11-2 run to grab a 46-44 lead.

ECU countered with a 6-2 run, capped by Prince Williams’ fast-break layup.

East Carolina led 61-54 with 8:16 left after seven straight points by Paul. But Weber State followed with an 8-0 run, Bamforth hitting a jumper, Berry a 3 and Bamforth his fourth 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 62-61 lead with 6:30 remaining.

After East Carolina fell behind again late, Kemp started the comeback with a 3-pointer, Paul hit two free throws and Robert Sampson scored on back-to-back plays for a 74-73 Pirates lead.

The Pirates had never won a Division I postseason game prior to this season. They sweated out a 66-65 win in the first round against Savannah State before cruising to double-digit victories over Rider (75-54), Loyola-Maryland (70-58) and Evansville (81-58).

The Wildcats, meanwhile, are probably best known for the player they had last year — NBA rookie of the year candidate, could only watch in disbelief as Richmond drained the buzzer-beater.

Overall, East Carolina hit 6 of 16 3s but shot 59 percent from the field. The Pirates also hit 11 of 14 free throws, ultimately the difference in the game.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.