"Sampson was terrific in a lot of areas tonight," said ECU head coach Jeff Lebo. "I thought he was good defensively along with obviously rebounding."
Maurice Kemp was the leading scorer for the Pirates with 21 points, while adding 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. He has led the team in scoring in three of the four games this season.
Sophomore Appalachian State shooting guard and Xavier transfer Jay Canty had a game-high 25 points.
Right behind Canty, Senior Appalachian State forward Nathan Healy, from New Bern, had 24 points to go along with his 10 rebounds in his return back to eastern North Carolina.
ECU took its first lead with 16:37 left in the first half and never let go of it in front of 4,014 fans at Williams Arena, Minges Coliseum.
Along the way, there were a number of questionable calls made by the officiating crew. Both teams combined were charged for 49 fouls.
Appalachian State head coach Jason Capel wasn't pleased with the referees after the game. "It was very frustrating," said Capel. "I'm not going to get myself in trouble and comment on some of the things that took place."
Miguel Paul didn't hit a single three-pointer in the game but still managed to score 14 points and record 6 assists.
Reigning Conference USA freshman of the week, Marshall Guilmette came down to Earth Tuesday. He only had 2 points and didn't grab a single rebound.
"It's nice to win. Other people stepped up," said Lebo. "It wasn't easy...but we made some key plays late." ECU had not started a season 4-0 since the 2002-2003 campaign, which saw Bill Herrion's club start 7-0, but finish 12-15.
After the holiday, the Pirates will take their show on the road for two games at Georgia State and UNC-Charlotte.