Men's Basketball Pushes Past East Carolina, 66-63
March 2, 2002
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Corey Santee hit a tie-breaking jumper with 19 seconds left as TCU beat East Carolina 66-63 Saturday night in Billy Tubbs' last regular-season game as the Horned Frogs' coach.
Santee's 15-footer broke a 63-63 tie. After East Carolina missed two shots, Bingo Merriex was fouled on the rebound and made his second free throw with 3.7 seconds left.
TCU (16-14, 6-10 Conference USA) won for the fifth time in seven games despite its lowest scoring output of the season. East Carolina (12-17, 5-11) is 0-12 on the road, and the only C-USA team not to win a road game this season.
Merriex led TCU with 18 points, and Santee had 15. Corey Valsin had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kenyatta Brown had 14 points for East Carolina. Travis Holcomb-Faye had 11 points and 10 assists, while Gabriel Mikulas had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Tubbs was not offered a contract extension past 2001-02. He made public before the season that this would be his last at TCU, and he will leave without having a losing record in eight seasons.
Tubbs is 596-296 in 28 seasons overall, including stops at Oklahoma, Lamar and Southwestern Texas. Tubbs is 156-96 at TCU.
East Carolina, which had won four of five games including a 51-46 upset of No. 9 Marquette on Tuesday, erased a 33-24 halftime deficit with a 16-4 run to start the second half. The Pirates led 40-37 on Erroyl Bing's 3-pointer.
The Pirates led by as much as five, but after TCU's seven straight points, the lead went back and forth the final 10 minutes.
TCU will be the 10th seed for the C-USA tournament that begins Wednesday in
Cincinnati. Unless the Frogs win the tournament for an automatic NCAA berth,
Tubbs could still have more games in the expanded NIT field.