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
Henry Hinton Sidebar AP
ECUPirates.com Game Story
Season-to-Date, Game-by-Game Scores, Attendance
Brian Bailey goes 1-on-1 with ECU coach Bill
Herrion after the Pirates' hard-fought loss to
heavily favored Louisville:
Select audio clip...
U of L coach Rick Pitino meets with the media
after the Cards out-struggled ECU to advance in
the C-USA Tournament:
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
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.
PIRATE TOURNAMENT NOTES:
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?
East Carolina 54
Records: ECU 13-14, ;
U of L 20-8.
East Carolina 54
Player FG FT
5-12 0-3 10
5-16 3-4 14
Player FG FT
8-17 4-4 22
Halftime: Louisville 21, East
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,
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