Greenville, N.C. (Dec. 2, 2017) --- Delaware State trailed by three points to East Carolina with less than a minute to play, but the Pirates held on for a 63-57 win at Minges Coliseum today. The loss overshadowed a career performance by DSU senior Artem Tavakalyan, who topped all players with a career-high 20 points. The Hornets dropped their third straight game to fall to 2-7 this season, while ECU won its second in a row to even its record at 4-4.
Kentrell Barkley recorded a double-double for East Carolina, tying for team-high honors with 17 points and leading all players with 14 rebounds. Isaac Fleming also tallied 17 points, while Jabari Craig pulled down 11 boards for the Pirates.
Tavakalyan was 8-for-12 from the field, including 3-of-4 on three-point shots, and also led the Hornets with eight rebounds.
Simon Okolue added 14 points for DSU, highlighted by 6-of-7 shooting at the free throw line.
Delaware State trailed 60-52 after two free throws by ECU’s B.J. Tyson with 1:35 left to play, but Okolue hit two free throws and Tavakalyan converted an old-fashioned three-point play to pull the Hornets to within three at the 1:06 mark of the second half.
After East Carolina came up empty on the ensuing possession, the Hornets had a chance to pull closer, but DSU freshman guard Pinky Wiley missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line with 26 seconds remaining.
The Pirates opened up a two possession lead (62-57) when Shawn Williams hit two at the line with 17 seconds left.
Delaware State trailed 19-11 in the early going, but used a late first half surge to lead at the break.
The Hornets closed out the first half with a 13-4 run and led 24-23 when Tavakalyan hit a three-point shot with four seconds to go before intermission.
Delaware State shot 36.1% from the field in the game, connecting on 22 of 61 shots , including five three-point field goals on 18 attempts (27.8%).
East Carolina was 22-for-55 overall from the field (40.0%) and three-of-12 on three-point shots (25.0%).
The Hornets return to action on Wednesday (Dec. 6) at home against UMBC. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., following the Delaware State/Robert Morris women’s basketball contest in Memorial Hall.