Senior trio leads Tulane to victory over East Carolina
NEW ORLEANS (AP)—With 4.4 seconds remaining, Donnavan Stith sank two game-winning free throws as Tulane edged past Conference USA foe East Carolina 77-75 in the regular season finale on Saturday.
Tulane (16-14, 6-10) was forced to overcome a barrage of three-pointers from East Carolina. The Pirates finished 13-of-28 from behind the three-point line. Darrell Jenkins scored a game high 30 points, including eight 3-pointers, to lead East Carolina (11-18, 5-11).
With the game tied at 71-71, Eric Vianney made consecutive trips to the foul line and came away with four straight points to give Tulane a 75-71 lead with just over two minutes to play.
Jenkins erased that, scoring his eight 3-pointer, to bring East Carolina to within a point, 75-74, with 2:02 remaining.
Tulane held onto that edge heading into the final minute, but Jenkins was fouled by David Gomez sending him to the line. Jenkins hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 75-75 with 34.4 seconds on the game clock.
After a timeout, Stith held for the last shot, faked to his left and spun to his right and tried a left-handed jumper. However, he was fouled on the attempt by John Fields and sank both free throws to seal the win.
Gomez, Stith and Matt Wheaton, Tulane’s seniors, combined for 41 points and 23 of the Green Wave’s 33 total rebounds.
Gomez had his eighth career double-double, grabbing 16 rebounds—a career high—and scored 21, while Stith finished with 17. Wheaton had three points, but his lone 3-pointer near the midway point helped Tulane regain a lead. Robinson Louisme and Kevin Sims also finished in double figures, with 15 and 12 points respectively.
Sam Hinnant was the only other Pirate to reach double figures with 15 points.