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College Sports in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, February 17, 2003

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Wretched shooting undermining ECU defensive heroics

Carolinas: Wake still No. 1 as ACC titans call timeout for blizzard

©2003 Bonesville.net

East Carolina’s basketball game at Saint Louis ended around 4 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday. A 56-42 loss to the Billikens pushed the Pirates’ Conference USA road record to 0-14 over two seasons and added to the frustration of Coach Bill Herrion at his team’s struggles away from Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates flew back commercially from St. Louis to Memphis and then from Memphis to Raleigh-Durham. The bus from RDU got into Greenville around 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Herrion may not be pleased with his team’s road performance but the Pirates keep working to keep pace in C-USA. There was a practice Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

The good news for the Pirates is that Derrick Wiley was back for the workout on Sunday after missing the Saint Louis game because of the death of an uncle in Durham.

“The uncle helped raise him and they were very close so he had to be there for his family,” Herrion said.

Wiley leads ECU with a 13.0 scoring average. He scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as ECU came from nine points down in the last 8 1/2 minutes in a 60-57 home win over Southern Miss in the Pirates’ previous game.

Wiley’s sense of family obligation is certainly admirable, but the unfortunate timing of the situation didn’t help the Pirates, who managed to ring up only one point on the Savvis Center scoreboard over the last 11:07 of the first half.

“That’s been our downfall on the road,” Herrion said. “We have these stretches where we don’t score and now you’re playing from behind. We’re not good enough to do that, particularly on the road — to dig a hole and try to win a game. I’m very frustrated and very confused with the fact that we’re not putting the ball in the basket.”

Herrion said opponents are routinely double-teaming Gabriel Mikulas in the low post.

“Teams are taking him out of the offense and they’re saying, ‘Get it out of his hands and make somebody make a jump shot’ and right now we’re not shooting it well enough,” Herrion said.

The Pirates haven’t shot as high as 40 percent from the field in their last nine games. Improving perimeter shooting was an offseason objective in recruiting but the Pirates are hitting only 27.3 percent behind the arc. That compares to 31.0 percent last year.

“Saint Louis has Marque Perry, Marquette has Dwyane Wade, Louisville has Reece Gaines and Charlotte has Demon Brown,” Herrion said. “All of those teams have go-to guys on offense. We don’t have a go-to guy. We missed Wiley from that standpoint. He does a lot offensively for us.

“I know it’s redundant but we held Saint Louis to 56 points, we held Tulane to 67, DePaul to 55 and Cincinnati to 59. We’ve played good enough defensively and we’ve rebounded well. We’ve just had an unbelievable time scoring. Saint Louis is 10-12 but they’ve beaten some good basketball teams — Dayton, West Virginia, Memphis and Louisville. They’re a good basketball team.”

The Pirates will get another shot at the Billikens in their regular season finale on Saturday, March 8, at 11 a.m.

ECU plays at home this week against DePaul at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (WITN-TV 7) and Charlotte at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Pirates are 0-3 in C-USA play against both of this week’s opponents.

Timeout for a blizzard

Leadership in the ACC was to be decided Sunday night but Mother Nature said it wasn’t happening. Two feet of snow in the College Park, Md., area resulted in the postponement of the Wake Forest-Maryland game, which was tentatively reset for this afternoon.

Virginia might have wished its game on Saturday night with Duke in Charlottesville had been postponed as the Blue Devils regrouped with an impressive 78-59 win. Wake stays No. 1 for the third straight week in the Carolinas Division I poll after topping the Blue Devils 94-80 in double-overtime last week.

There’s some shuffling elsewhere in the Top 10 and down below as well in the Not-So-Sweet 17.


STATE LINE HOOPS REPORT©

The Top Ten

  1. Wake Forest (17-3, 7-2 ACC) ... Josh Howard is averaging 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds but to the Deacons credit they found a way to win without him after he fouled out against Duke. The Deacons play at Maryland today/tonight (maybe), visit Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on Thursday and host Virginia at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
  2. Duke (17-4, 7-4 ACC) ... The Blue Devils dissolved their four-game road losing streak in the ACC as Shelden Williams scored 20 points and Virginia lost for the first time at home in its last 11 games at University Hall. Duke hosts Maryland at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and N.C. State at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  3. College of Charleston (20-5, 10-2 Southern) ... The Cougars became the first Carolinas team with 20 wins as they got their ninth straight victory 108-96 in a Southern Conference showdown at Appalachian State on Saturday with Thomas Mobley scoring 21 points for Coach Tom Herrion’s club. The Cougars host Western Carolina at 7 p.m. tonight and visit Chattanooga at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
  4. N.C. State (13-8, 6-4 ACC) ... The Wolfpack’s non-conference struggles continued with a 76-54 loss at Temple on Saturday despite 16 points from Julius Hodge as the Owls started the second half with an 11-0 run. NCSU hosts Florida State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and visits Duke at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  5. South Carolina (10-11, 3-7 SEC) ... The Gamecocks got big wins over Clemson and Arkansas this week with Chris Warren hitting a career-high 23 points in a 72-65 win over the Razorbacks on Saturday. USC takes a three-game winning streak into a home game with Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and ventures to Georgia for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday.
  6. Clemson (13-8, 3-7 ACC) ... Edward Scott scored 25 points in an 80-77 win over visiting North Carolina on Saturday as the Tigers erased a five-point halftime deficit. Scott is averaging 17.0 points for Clemson, which plays at Virginia at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and hosts Florida State at noon on Saturday.
  7. North Carolina (13-11, 4-7 ACC) ... Raymond Felton’s 19 points weren’t enough as the freshman point guard missed a three-point attempt in the final seconds at Clemson. The Tar Heels continued to miss freshman center Sean May as they were outrebounded 39-24. May’s return from a broken foot is indefinite as UNC prepares to host winless N.C. A&T at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The Heels return to ACC action at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Maryland.
  8. UNC Wilmington (16-6, 10-3 Colonial) ... The Seahawks came back from a loss at Old Dominion earlier in the week to top host Hofstra 74-70 after UNCW had led 45-25 at the half. Senior guard Brett Blizzard is averaging 21.1 points for Wilmington, which seeks to avenge an earlier loss to George Mason at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks play at Towson at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
  9. Charlotte (10-12, 5-5 C-USA) ... Demon Brown of the 49ers broke the league record for three pointers in a season and scored 18 points in a 74-64 win over visiting Cincinnati on Saturday. Charlotte is on the road this week to face Marquette at 9 p.m. on Thursday and East Carolina at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
  10. East Carolina (12-10, 3-8 C-USA) ... Erroyl Bing’s 11 points and 10 rebounds weren’t enough to offset the absence of leading scorer Derrick Wiley due to a death in the family as a first half scoring lull led to a 56-42 loss at Saint Louis. Wiley is expected to be in action as ECU hosts DePaul at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Charlotte at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Not-So-Sweet 17

11. Appalachian State
12. Davidson
13. Winthrop
14. Charleston Southern
15. Wofford
16. South Carolina State
17. Coastal Carolina
18. UNC Asheville
19. Furman
20. UNC Greensboro
21. Western Carolina
22. Gardner-Webb
23. The Citadel
24. Elon
25. High Point
26. Campbell
27. N.C. A&T

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02/23/2007 12:40:05 AM
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