NEWS, NOTES &
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
By Bethany Bradsher
New diversion: Collecting
loose threads that bind
February is the time when a dozen Pirate sports
seem to overlap, tournaments and preseason games and road trips all melding
together in a puddle of purple.
But besides the obvious mascots and uniform
colors, do the disparate East Carolina athletic contests of the past week
have any common threads?
Iím so glad you asked.
With its 63-59 defeat of Marshall on Saturday
night, the basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak and also set a
school record for free-throw consistency, making 14-of-14 shots from the
The last time the Pirates were perfect from the
charity stripe was on Jan. 2, 1979, when they converted on 10 of 10 in a
victory over Iona. Iona is located in New Rochelle, New York.
New York is the home state of seven
members of the ECU ice hockey team, a club sport that drew 700 fans to its
Friday night game against UNC-Wilmington. The Pirates, who swept the
Seahawks 14-4 and 15-1 over the weekend, will next play against Virginia
Military Institute in the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference Tournament.
One of the most distinguished NFL coaches ever,
Don Shula, once coached in Virginia, as an assistant coach for the
Cavaliers in 1958. Shula also owns a hotel and golf resort in Miami Lakes,
Florida, the site of the Papa Johnís Collegiate golf tournament.
The ECU womenís golf team, led by new head coach
Kim Lewellen, took second place at the Papa Johnís Collegiate in
Tuesdayís final round, collecting a 54-hole team score of 896 and placing
three individual golfers in the top 15. The tournament was won by North
N.C. State has also handed the most
recent loss to one of the springís most successful teams: The ECU womenís
tennis team. The Lady Pirates are 8-3, and after their Feb. 11 loss to the
Wolfpack they turned around and swept Elon in their home opener.
Elon was one of the eight participants in
the ECU softball teamís Holiday Inn Express Pirate Classic
tournament, the first of three tournaments on the Lady Piratesí schedule.
The 8-2 Pirates beat Army, Seton Hall and Towson in opening games but lost
to Michigan State and then to Ohio Sunday in the Holiday Inn title
The first Holiday Inn was opened in 1952
on a roadside in Memphis, TN, not far from the University of Memphis, whose
menís tennis team will face the Pirates next weekend in a midseason C-USA
tournament in Orlando. The menís tennis team had an unexpected break this
weekend when their tournament against N.C. A&T and Campbell was
cancelled due to the threat of wintry precipitation.
The match against N.C. A&T has been
rescheduled for March 9, the day after the Aggies face the ECU baseball
team. The Diamond Bucs (5-2), made a statement on Tuesday when they defeated
Duke 19-5. Two Pirates ó Ryan Tousley and Jake Smith Ė recorded five RBI's
each in the victory.
The Piratesí starting catcher, Smith is a senior
who started nearly every game last season and hit home runs in four of them.
One memorable two-run homer came last March 20 against an All-American
pitcher, Brian Bogusevic of Tulane.
To end this circuitous journey through the maze
of recent Pirate athletic exploits, we discover that Tulane was the
victor in the womenís basketball teamís most recent game, as the Green Wave
defeated the Lady Pirates 81-78 in overtime to drop ECU to 15-11 overall and
The Lady Pirates still hope to play well enough
to make the C-USA Tournament, which starts on March 2 in Dallas, Texas.
I grew up in the state of Texas, and this web is threatening to
unravel if I donít wrap it up. And I may be onto something to fill the idle
time of Pirate fans: searching for the most obscure possible links between
ECU athletic endeavors. Call it the six (or eight) degrees of East Carolina.
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02/23/2007 01:12:49 AM