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ECU end Roadrunners Men's Basketball season

Devon Agusi drives to the basket
Devon Agusi drives to the basket
courtesy UTSA Athletics

UTSA’s March Madness has come to an end as they gave up a commanding lead to fall to an East Carolina comeback, losing 79-76 in the opening round of the CUSA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Devon Agusi was impressive in the season ender for the Roadrunners as he hit 21 points, 15 of those coming through 3-pointers, with all five starters (Jordan Sims 12, Phillip Jones, Edrico McGregor 11, Keon Lewis 10) managing double figures.

UTSA managed to shoot at 65.4% in the first half, a season high, that saw them build up an 18 point lead; but they were let down by the second half as they only shot at 30.8%.

For the Pirates, Akeem Richmond did the main damage as he broke a CUSA single game record with 11 3-pointers as part of his 36 points, breaking another CUSA record, most treys in a season, in the process.

UTSA stunned ECU in the opening stages of the game, hitting nine of their first 10 attempts, taking the lead at 3-2, and they never gave up on that lead throughout the first half.

After a Richmond 3-pointer, Agusi responded in kind at that started an 11-0 run that looked to give the Roadrunners firm control of the game, putting them 19-5 in front.

McGregor scored twice with a basket and a three-point play followed by a Jones steal which allowed Agusi to drain one again, the run ending with a Jones free.

The lead didn’t dip below 10 the rest of the half, with UTSA pushing it out as far as 18 with a 10-3 run that ended with Hyji Thomas getting reward for an offensive rebound.

ECU managed a rally either side of half time that saw them jump ahead as they went on a 31-6 run to take the lead, the run only barely getting started at the end of the first half as they went 10-1 to trail 47-38 at the break.

That momentum continued in the second half with ECU going 30-9 in the opening 14 minutes of the half to push out to a 13 point, 68-55, lead before UTSA started to cut back in to the deficit, getting it to 73-65 with 1:40 remaining.

That saw UTSA forced to respond and they did with three straight 3-pointers to close to just needing one last 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

With seconds remaining Agusi had that chance as he ran down the court and got a shot for three away, only for his effort to bounce off the rim, ending UTSA’s season.

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