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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, January 3, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

No letdowns allowed in the Herrion camp

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Shortly after Monday night’s win over 13th-ranked Marquette, East Carolina coach Bill Herrion made this statement:

“This win was great, don’t get me wrong. But we’ll find out just how good of a basketball team we are against UNC Pembroke. I know you guys in the media are saying, ‘But they’re Division II’. This thing is all about consistency, and we’ll find out a lot on Thursday night.”

I wonder what Coach Herrion is thinking now.

The Pirates raced out of the gate on a 13-0 run, and steamrolled UNC Pembroke to the tune of a 47-13 halftime lead.

The mop up duty started midway through the first half. If this game was a test, then Herrion's team earned an A+, winning 93-47!

ECU simply dominated inside, out-rebounding the Braves 45-24. Erroyl Bing scored 14 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Jonathan Moore scored 13, while both Devin Boddie and Belton Rivers both chipped in 10.

Every Pirate that saw action scored in the game. It certainly won’t be this easy in any other game the rest of the way.

“We have talked about two things since the beginning of practice this year,” said Herrion after the victory. “In order for this program to move forward we had to win our non-conference games, and we did that by going 9-2. We also had to show that we could win games on the road, and we have four road wins so far this season.”

The Pirates emphatically met the coach's goals in their 11-game non-conference schedule. Tack on the upset over Marquette, and ECU is 10-2 overall and in first place in the American Division of Conference USA at 1-0.

Now, though, the C-USA wars begin in earnest.

ECU will take nine days off to re-energize before hitting the road to take on Charlotte.

Winning on the road in any league is difficult, but trips to Charlotte, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati and other league heavyweights are just brutal.

“I think our 10-2 mark will most certainly open some eyes,” said Herrion. “I told the team that now the bull’s-eye is bigger. At this point in the season, there aren’t many teams with ten wins. I have always said that you don’t judge a team in December. Everything that we have done so far is to make us better when March rolls around.”

It’s been a fun, non-conference part of the season for East Carolina, with the Pirates putting themselves in position to potentially take this program to places that many thought were impossible.

ECU probably won’t crack the Top 25 this week, but the Pirates should receive some votes. With a couple of more wins, that barrier may also be shattered.

'East Carolina 97, UNC Pembroke 47' says it all about how Herrion’s team responded to the challenge of maintaining its intensity against an overmatched foe. The next challenge is in 9 days, when the Pirates visit the Queen City to take on a not so lightly regarded opponent, the Charlotte ‘49ers!

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02/23/2007 01:25:44 AM

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