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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Thursday, March 11, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Future promise on display in loss

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Brian Bailey goes 1-on-1 with ECU coach Bill Herrion after the Pirates' hard-fought loss to heavily favored Louisville:
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U of L coach Rick Pitino meets with the media after the Cards out-struggled ECU to advance in the C-USA Tournament:
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CINCINNATI — East Carolina once again showed that it can compete against the best competition that Conference USA has to offer.

But once again, the Pirates have only a notch in the loss column to show for their efforts.

ECU followed a familiar script on Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Effort was everywhere in the Pirates' 61-54 loss to Louisville in an opening round game in the C-USA Tournament.

The Pirates didn’t get off to a good start. Before even Coach Bill Herrion could break a sweat, the Cards led 8-1.The Cardinals scored those eight points in the game’s first two and a half minutes. They would score just 13 more the rest of the half.

ECU got back into the game with an 8-0 run. Moussa Badiane slammed home one basket, and then “Moose” fed Corey for another jam and an early lead.

The rest of the first half was a preview of the bloodbath that followed in the second stanza. Baskets were terribly tough to come by. After twenty minutes, the Cardinals led East Carolina 21-20.

“I really thought we had a chance after we fought back from being 8-1 down,” said Herrion after the game. “I told the kids that we just had to figure out a way to score, and then we would be just fine.”

Two key stretches cost the Pirates against Louisville.

The first came after Derrick Wiley scored and was fouled on a breakaway. Wiley missed the free throw, and then the Pirates missed a pair of threes that would have put them in front by seven.

“That was really big,” said Herrion. “If we just knock down one of those shots, then we’ve got them down seven. In a game like this one, seven points is a bunch.”

The second stretch came with just under ten minutes to play. Down by a single point, Francisco Garcia hit a three pointer. The Cardinals got a steal, and then another quick triple.

In less then the blink of an eye, a two-point lead had turned into a four-point deficit.

The Pirates got as close as two on a Moussa Badiane slam just moments later. But the play was a turning point, and the Cardinals went on for the victory.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort,” said Herrion. “I knew that this team really thought they could win this game. We just have to go back to work and continue to improve this program.”

Pirate fans did get a glimpse of the future for much of the game against Louisville. Freshman Mike Cook came up with several big shots on his way to a 14 point performance. Cook can create and make a shot, and he’s got three more years in that purple jersey.

Francisco Garcia was the difference for the Cards. Garcia rescued Louisville several different times in the game. He scored 22 points to lead all scorers.

“We are still struggling a little, trying to get guys healthy,” said Louisville Coach Rick Pitino in his post-game press conference. “Give East Carolina credit. It was a real battle and we were very fortunate to win.”

The Pirates end their year with a record of 13-14.


Get well soon, Sy

Sy Seymour, the fine color commentator for Jeff Charles and the Pirates Sports Network, didn’t make the trip to Cincinnati.

Sy underwent a heart procedure on Monday, and is resting comfortably at his home in New Bern. He did tell members of the basketball staff that he planned on making the trip to Cincinnati on Thursday, if the Pirates advanced. I don’t think he was kidding.

Sy is a great asset to the broadcasts and we wish him the speediest recovery possible. He was on the phone with Coach Herrion shortly after the coach finished with his interviews from the media.

Richardson seen on press row

Early reports out of Houston say the Cougars may be interested in former Arkansas Coach Nolan Richardson for their opening.

Richardson spent most of the East Carolina-Louisville game on press row, taking in the spectacle of the tournament.

His appearance certainly had the league talking. Richardson led the Razorbacks to the National Championship in the early 90’s.

Familiar face Bridger visits

Former Lady Pirate softball star Beth Bridger stopped by to say hello before the game.

Beth is now at Louisville, where she is continuing her studies. Last year she helped out the Ayden-Grifton softball team.

She was very interested in finding out about this year’s softball team, and she said she’d check on that squad during Spring Break.

Still searching for lucky cuff link

Pirate assistant coach Greg Herenda was in search of a cuff link for his game attire on Wednesday.

Herenda didn’t have a lot of options late in the day, and finally asked me if I had a pair.

I had to tell him that I haven’t seen a cuff link since my wedding day, and to be truthful, I’m really not sure that I had one then.

One of the managers made a quick run to a men’s store to save the day. I checked later and the manager made a great choice. They just didn’t turn out to be “lucky links,” did they?


Louisville 61, East Carolina 54

Records: ECU 13-14, ; U of L 20-8.

East Carolina 54
Player             FG      FT     PTS

Badiane          5-13     2-4      12
Wiley            5-12     0-3      10
Rouse             1-1     0-0       2
Robinson          2-2     3-4       7
Bing              1-9     4-5       6
Rivers            1-6     0-0       3
McNeil            0-1     0-0       0
Cook             5-16     3-4      14
Totals          20-60   12-20      54

Louisville 61
Player             FG      FT     PTS

Dartez            3-8     2-2       8
Garcia           8-17     4-4      22
George            1-2     0-0       2
Dean              2-7     0-0       6
Mohammed          2-3     1-2       5
Tinch             0-0     0-0       0
Jenkins           1-1     0-0       2
Whitehead         1-2     0-0       2
Daniels           1-3     0-0       3
O'Bannon          1-6     8-8      11
Totals          20-49   15-16      61

Halftime: Louisville 21, East Carolina 20.

3-point goals: East Carolina 2-14 (Badiane 0-1, Wiley 0-1, Bing 0-4, Rivers 1-5, Cook 1-3); Louisville 6-20 (Garcia 2-7, Dean 2-6, Daniels 1-3, O'Bannon 1-4).

Fouled out: None.

Rebounds: 37 (Bing 13); Louisville 35 (Dartez 10).

Assists: East Carolina 7 (McNeil 3); Louisville 10 (George, Dean, O'Bannon 2).

Total fouls: East Carolina 18, Louisville 18.

Technical fouls:

Attendance: na.

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02/23/2007 01:29:03 AM

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