College Sports in the Carolinas
Don't miss Al Myatt's
profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the current
from the East
February 18, 2005
By Al Myatt
ECU fighting for life after
the regular season
Maybe East Carolina was supposed to have
beaten Marquette on Saturday night. Fate certainly seemed to make amends in
the ensuing games for each club.
The Pirates, of course, got deadly at the free
throw line down the stretch to
stun host UAB 67-64 on Wednesday
The Golden Eagles, who were so clutch in
coming back in Greenville to nip ECU
71-69 in overtime, got a dose of their own medicine in
snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
on Thursday night. Louisville closed with a 14-0 run to subdue Marquette
64-61. Francisco Garcia hit a 3-pointer with under three seconds left to
provide the winning margin for the Cardinals.
Marquette senior guard Travis Diener, who
torched ECU for 31 points and the game winning jumper in the extra period,
couldn't keep the magic going in Milwaukee. He got a good look at a 3-point
attempt at the buzzer that would have sent the game to OT, but it was short.
Diener obviously didn't pull on his jersey and
yell at the fans following the game — as he did in Williams Arena at Minges
Coliseum — after going 2-for-16 from the field against the Cards.
What goes around comes around ...
Young Bucs do some growing up
UAB coach Mike Anderson shared his emotions
after the Pirates won for the first time in five games against the Blazers.
"I'm very disappointed and frustrated," said
Anderson, whose club knocked Kentucky out of the NCAA Tournament last year.
Those are emotions that ECU coach Bill Herrion
has known only too well this season, but the sneaker was on the other foot
in Birmingham despite some remarkable circumstances. The Pirates committed
26 turnovers and finished the game without their top two scorers.
Unlike the woeful adventures at the line
against Marquette, ECU hit 10 of 10 foul shots in the final 5:15 to boost
its chances of making the Conference USA Tournament in Memphis. Corey Rouse,
who seemingly couldn't buy a free throw against the Golden Eagles, going 4
of 12, bounced back to drop 6 of 7. The Pirates made 22 of 27 for the game,
a splendid percentage of 81.5.
Moussa Badiane, ECU's imposing shot blocker
and lone senior, was on the floor for just 18 minutes before fouling out.
Leading scorer Mike Cook had a collision in the second half and left the
game with a facial cut.
"A great win for our kids," said Herrion,
whose club prevailed for the first time on the road this season at an
ECU improved to 3-9 in league play and pulled
into a tie for 12th in the league standings with South Florida, which hosts
the Pirates on Saturday. The top 12 teams in the
C-USA standings among the 14
basketball-playing schools qualify for the league tournament.
"We are battling like crazy trying to get into
the Conference USA Tournament," Herrion said. "This is a good win for us and
a good step. It's in our hands now."
Freshman Tom Hammonds led ECU with 16 points
and Rouse, a junior playing significant minutes for the first time this
season, had his league-leading ninth double-double with 12 points and 13
Cook was released from the hospital on
Wednesday night and is expected to play against USF.
Pirate Armada to set sail
The Greater Charlotte Pirate Club and Friends
of ECU baseball will caravan across the state for the first game at
Clark-LeClair Stadium on March 4.
Plans call for the group to leave McDonald's
at University Place in the Queen City with Pirate flags flying at 5:15 a.m.
that Friday. The Armada will stop at the Rest Area just beyond exit 135 on
I-85 to incorporate Triad support around 6:30 a.m.
Another stop is planned around 8 a.m. at
Lowe's Home Improvement in Knightdale. Folks in eastern North Carolina can
join the force as it rolls eastward on Highway 264. The Armada will leave
from Colonial Mall on Greenville Boulevard for the new field at 10 a.m.
Each vehicle is asked to donate $20 or more to
the Catfish Hunter ALS chapter on behalf of Keith LeClair, the former ECU
coach who has been battling the affliction since the spring of 2002. Plans
call for the funds to be presented at the game and a total announced.
ECU meets Michigan at 11 a.m. in the opener of
the Keith LeClair Invitational, the first game at the Pirates'
state-of-the-art new $10 million baseball stadium.
Another active chapter
The Durham/Orange Chapter of the Pirate Club
has several gatherings coming up. The group will present athletic director
Terry Holland and new football coach Skip Holtz at a banquet at the Durham
Sheraton Imperial on Wednesday, April 27. There will be a social hour at 6
p.m., followed by dinner. Cost is $25 per person in advance and $35 at the
The chapter is also planning Pirate Night at
the Durham Bulls game on Friday, May 13, and a golf tournament at Croasdaile
Country Club in Durham on Monday, June 20.
For more information on these activities,
contact John Bland at (919) 401-5433 or (919) 451-2520 or e-mail at
Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.
Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville
02/23/2007 12:33:04 AM