GREENVILLE, N.C. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Senior Eric Maynor (Raeford, N.C.) scored 27 of his career-high 35 points in the second half and overtime, but Virginia Commonwealth University couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold off hot-shooting East Carolina in a 93-90 loss at Minges Coliseum Tuesday night.
Maynor buried a long 3-pointer, his sixth, from the left wing with 1:43 remaining to tie the score at 90-90. But in the final 20.7 seconds, East CarolinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Darrius Morrow and Brock Young combined to make 3-of-4 free throw attempts and VCU managed two turnovers and a missed 3-pointer.
Sophomore Larry Sanders (Fort Pierce, Fla.) added a career-high 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, while fellow soph Joey Rodriguez (Oviedo, Fla.) scored 11 points and handed out eight assists for the Rams (2-2).
MaynorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 35 points are the most by a VCU player since Nick George dropped 36 on William & Mary Feb. 23, 2005.
James Legan led the Pirates (4-1) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Sam Hinnant, Young and Morrow added 18, 17 and 16 points, respectively.
East Carolina shot 51 percent (34-of-67) in the game, including 63 percent (19-of-30) in the second half.
HinnantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s four-point play early in the overtime period had the Rams (2-2) chasing an 88-84 deficit. VCU sophomore Brandon Rozzell (Richmond, Va.) hit 12-foot jumper with 2:58 showing to trim the lead to two, and Maynor added a free throw to make it 88-87 with 2:27 left.
A short time later, Morrow hauled in his ninth offensive rebound when he tipped in a Hinnant miss for a 90-87 ECU edge with 1:56 showing.
VCU carried a 37-33 lead into the locker room after knocking down 6-of-11 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. The Rams led by as many as 11 in the first.
The Black and Gold were held scoreless over the final 3:10 of the first half and remained in without a point for the first 2:22 of the second. In the meantime, the Pirates engineered a 13-0 run to grab a 39-37 lead. VCU would spend the remainder of the game playing catch-up. East Carolina pushed ahead by as many as nine, at 58-49, before the Rams mounted a comeback.
VCU trailed, 80-72, with 2:22 showing, but Maynor scored eight straight VCU points and then fed Sanders on an alley-oop dunk with 35 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The Rams will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 29 when they take on New Mexico at 11 p.m. in the Cancun Challenge, which will be played at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.